Nokia, Ericsson keen to expand manufacturing; Samsung, Ciena, Foxconn plan to set up base for telecom products in IndiaNew Delhi: The Indian government said that European telecom gear vendors like Ericsson and Nokia are keen to expand their existing operation in India for global supply chain under the Rs 12,195-crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme of the government, which was notified in February.

Other global vendors like Samsung , Cisco, Ciena, and Engineering Manufacturing Services (EMS) companies like Jabil, Foxconn, Sanmina and Flex have shown interest to set up manufacturing in India for telecom and networking products for domestic as well as export markets under the newly announced PLI scheme, the government said in an official release.

Indian manufacturers like VVDN Technologies, Dixon, HFCL, Coral Telecom and Sterlite Technologies have also shown interest in the scheme.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was expected to release final guidelines for the scheme by March 31 and operationalise them by April 1. However, the DoT is expecting more applications and has therefore extended the time frame, said industry executives.

On Wednesday, contract manufacturer Dixon Technologies (India) Ltd and Bharti Enterprises Ltd signed a pact to form a joint venture (JV) to manufacture telecom and networking products such as modems, routers, set top boxes and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The JV will file necessary applications with the communications ministry to avail benefits under the PLI scheme.

The PLI scheme in telecom and networking products aims to make India a global hub of manufacturing telecom equipment, including core transmission equipment, 4G/5G next generation Radio Access Network and wireless equipment, access and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), Internet of Things (IoT) access devices, other wireless equipment and enterprise equipment like switches, routers amongst others.

It is estimated that full utilisation of the scheme funds is likely to lead to incremental production of around Rs 2.4 lakh crore with exports of around Rs 2 lakh crore over five years. The scheme is expected to bring in investment of around Rs 3,000 crore and generate huge direct and indirect employment.

The government said that an extensive outreach program with the support of Invest India team for the PLI scheme is being planned, covering – One to one meeting with potential investors, participation in global outreach events organized by industry associations and webinars among others.

Under the scheme, the investor will be incentivised for incremental sales up to 20 times the committed investment enabling them to reach global scales and utilise their unused capacity and ramp up production.

The core component of the scheme is to offset the huge import of telecom equipment worth over Rs 50,000 crore and reinforce it with ‘Made in India’ products both for domestic markets and exports.

The target is to make India a preferred global manufacturing destination for telecom products as also a net exporter of telecom and networking products.

The scheme is investment linked which will enable the vendors to invest in backward integration thereby increasing the value addition in country.

The government said that global vendors will bring in their component suppliers and develop ancillaries.

“The scheme has a special category for MSME recognising the fact that MSMEs play an important role in the telecom manufacturing eco system. For MSMEs, one percent (1%) higher incentive is proposed in initial 3 years.Minimum Investment threshold for MSME has been kept at Rs. 10 crore,” it added.




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