Cabinet approves National Policy on Electronics

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After a long wait by the industry, the Union Cabinet finally approved the National Policy on Electronics 2012 on October 25, living up to the hope of the industry, which wants a conducive environment to manufacture more, locally. The policy is applauded for its ambitious aim to make the domestic electronic hardware manufacturing segment grow into a US$ 400 billion industry by 2020.

However, the domestic production in 2008-09 was worth about US$ 20 billion only. The draft ‘National Policy on Electronics’ was released in October 2011 and was soon made public for feedback, particularly from the various stakeholders. The policy has been now finalised after considering the comments of the stakeholders and other public organisations and associations.

Welcoming the Cabinet approval, Rajoo Goel, secretary general, ELCINA, says, “This is an extremely positive development and we are hopeful that this initiative would expedite the implementation of the other six individual policies that the government is about to bring in.” These six government initiatives are development of wafer fabs, Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS), development of manufacturing clusters, Preferential Market Access Policy, Electronics Development Fund and developing the National Electronics Mission.

The industry is unanimously hopeful that the policy will now be implemented fast, as actions speak louder than words. “Success would depend on implementation and clearly defined time lines to achieve these aggressive milestones,” Gautam Awasthi, general manager, marketing, Electronic Measurement Group, Agilent Technologies India Pvt Ltd, told Electronics Bazaar.

BN Shukla, head, Quality and Lean Six Sigma, Jabil Circuit India Pvt Ltd, also feels that the need of the hour is to execute this policy fast as India is already lagging behind the competition. “The policy has to be looked upon as an integrated approach to boost the Indian economy,” he told Electronics Bazaar.

Under the policy, government has set an objective to achieve a turnover of US$ 400 billion by 2020 involving investment of about US$ 100 billion; create employment for 28 million people; increase export in the ESDM sector from US$ 5.5 billion to US$ 80 billion by 2020; and enhance the availability of skilled manpower in the ESDM sector. It will soon bring in M-SIPS to eliminate the disability costs in manufacturing on account of infrastructure gaps relating to power, transportation, etc, and to mitigate the relatively high cost of finance, etc. Union government will also provide incentives for setting up over 200 electronic manufacturing units, and establish a stable tax regime conducive to attract global investments.

Now it is to be seen whether the National Policy on Electronics become a strong pillar and support balanced growth across the electronics industry.

By Srabani Sen

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