Proposal to widen hardware PLI ambit sent to secretaries’ panel

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has sent a proposal to the empowered group of secretaries to include more electronic products under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for hardware, sources said.

As per the proposal, apart from electronic products such as laptops, tablets, all-in-one-personal computers, and servers, the plan is to include items like hearables such as headphones, earphones, ear-pods, and wearables such as smart watches, smart GPS and fitness trackers, an official said.

A separate new PLI scheme for hearables, wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices is also likely to be announced before April end, the official said.

“The empowered group of secretaries is considering the proposal right now. Given the response in most categories under hardware PLI schemes, we are confident of attracting more global players in newer segments,” a senior government official said.

The empowered group of secretaries, instituted in June 2020, has been tasked with identifying the bottlenecks in PLI schemes, and acting as a coordinator between states and companies for faster approvals, evaluating and ensuring quick investments in PLI schemes and overall turnaround of projects.

It is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, and has the Chief Executive Officer of Niti Aayog, the secretaries of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Department of Commerce, Department of Revenue, Department of Economic Affairs and the Secretary of the concerned ministry as its members.

Like other PLI schemes, the incentives for companies in the telecom and networking equipment manufacturing space will flow following the achievement of a minimum threshold of cumulative incremental investment, and incremental sales of manufactured goods, net of taxes, the official said.

Last year in July, the IT Ministry had approved a total of 14 companies, including 10 domestic ones, as eligible to participate in the PLI scheme for laptops, tablets, all-in-one-personal computers, and servers.

The proposals of global laptop and computer conglomerate Dell and other electronic giants like Wistron, Flextronics, and Foxconn had been approved, while domestic companies such as Lava International, Dixon Technologies, Bhagwati (the parent company of Micromax), Neolync, Optiemus, Netweb, Smile Electronics, VVDN and Panache Digilife had also got the approval to start manufacturing under the PLI scheme.

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