Mobile Manufacturing Current Affairs
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Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued draft ‘National Policy on Electronics 2018’ (NPE 2018) for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector of India. It sets ambitious target of creating $400 billion electronics manufacturing industry by 2025, with mobile phone devices segment accounting for three-fourths of production.
Draft National Policy on Electronics (NPE)
Draft NPE aims to promote domestic manufacturing in entire value-chain of ESDM sector for spur economic development in the country. It also aims to double the target of mobile phone production from 500 million units in 2019 to 1 billion by 2025 to meet objective.
It replaces existing incentive schemes like Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS), with schemes that are easier to implement such as interest subsidy and credit default guarantee etc. It also takes into consideration interest subsidy and credit default guarantee in order to encourage new units and in expansion of existing units in electronics manufacturing sector.
The set target of $400 billion turnover under it, includes targeted production of 1 billion mobile handsets by 2025, valued at $190 billion (approximately Rs. 13 lakh crore) and also 600 million mobile handsets valued at $110 billion (approximately Rs. 7 lakh crore) for export.
It also proposes to push development of core competencies in all sub-sectors of electronics including electronic components and semiconductors, automotive electronics, defence electronics, industrial electronics, strategic electronics etc. It also proposes to set up 20 greenfield and three brownfield electronic manufacturing cluster projects have been sanctioned with project outlay of Rs 3,898 crore, including Rs 1,577 crore from Central Government.
It proposes suitable direct tax benefits, including inter-alia investment-linked deduction under Income Tax (IT) Act for electronics manufacturing sector, for setting up of new manufacturing unit or expansion of an existing unit. The proposal includes increasing tax benefits on expenditure incurred on R&D, enhancing rate of duty drawback for electronics sector, reimbursement of state levies and other levies for which input tax credit is not available, allowing duty free import of second-hand capital goods for electronics hardware manufacturing etc. It also proposes cess on select electronic goods resources to promote certain critical sub-sectors of electronic manufacturing such as semiconductor wafer fabrication and display fabrication units.
The Central Bureau of Excise and Customs (CBEC) under Finance Ministry has imposed a 10% duty on imports of key smartphone components such as populated printed circuit boards (PCBs), camera modules and connectors. At present there is zero import duty imposed on the three components.
This move will make imports of components expensive while giving stimulus to local manufacturing under Make in India program. Such input parts for making these components locally, will not attract any import duties. But it will lead to increase in prices of mobile phones for those companies that do not make or source these components locally. PCBs make up about 50% of cost of making smart phone. This decision will push local assembly or manufacturing of these components as companies who make here will get a price advantage over those who don’t.
This decision follows the government’s announcement to impose 20% basic customs duty (BCD) on fully built mobile phones, which came into effect from February 1, 2018 as part of its phased manufacturing program (PMP). Since 2014, import duties have acted as catalyst to grow investment into mobile phone manufacturing in India, with number of factories increasing to 120 from handful. International contract manufacturing companies like Foxconn, Flex, Wistron and handset makers from China, India besides South Korea’s Samsung have taken local production of mobile phones to 225 million in 2017, which his more than 80% of the phones sold in country.
Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP)
Government had PMP in May 2017 for promoting the growth of domestic manufacturing of Cellular mobile handsets. This programme is under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MieTY). Its overall aim is to impose duties (differential duty regime) and give tax reliefs and incentives on select products involved in domestic manufacturing of cellular handsets. It is called phased manufacturing programme because it will give fiscal benefits to domestic manufacturing of various components of cellular handsets in different fiscals.