It’s not only the assembly of cellphones that India has achieved a lot but also in moving up the value chain the production of electronic equipment in general, Union Minister for railways, information technology and telecom Ashwini Vaishnaw said November 27 while describing how India has emerged as a major exporter of electronic components. Vaishnaw said investments in the electronics sector are currently around Rs 20,000-25,000 crore and the industry is growing “exponentially” in the country. “99.2% of mobile phones used in India are made in India…Not only have volumes increased, but India has been climbing up the value chain too. At present, there are multiple components that are manufactured in India,” Vaishnaw told the media at the Tata Electronics facility in Hosur, Karnataka. The minister also said that the mobile phone industry alone employs more than 2.5 lakh people. While the IT minister was making this statement in India, in a filing to the stock exchanges in Taiwan, iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision Industry (also known as Foxconn) said it was planning to expand its footprint in India with another $1.6 billion investment, reported Bloomberg. Incidentally, Foxconn, the largest contract maker for iPhones, is continuously diversifying its business beyond China. Foxconn had earlier said that it planned to double the size of its business in the country. In August, the Karnataka state government announced that Foxconn planned to invest $600 million in two component factories. While one would be a plant for making mechanical enclosures for iPhones another would make semiconductor equipment. These two factories would be in addition to a $700 million facility Foxconn wants to set up on 300 acres close to the Bengaluru airport. This one will possibly to assemble iPhones. “At present, there are multiple components that are manufactured in India…We are trying to tap into every segment of electronics production,” Vaishnaw told the media. “We are trying to tap into laptops, PCs, mobile phones, and every segment of electronics production in India,” he said. The Tatas have stepped into the business of contract manufacturing iPhones by acquiring Wistron’s assembly plant in Karnataka’s Kolar district. To turn India into a manufacturing hub, the government has unveiled the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to 14 sectors in 2021. Of these the largest PLI is in manufacturing smartphones. It has an outlay of Rs 40,995 crore. The Centre has high hopes under the PLI. It envisages an incremental production of Rs 10.05 lakh crore and exports of well over Rs 6.5 lakh crore. Direct and indirect employment to the tune of 8 lakh would be generated by 2026, the government hopes.
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