- The emphasis of the under-draft scheme might be on manufacturing 5G telecom gear in India
- It may be in line with the recent PLI schemes announced for the electronics manufacturing sector in the country
- TRAI had recommended setting up of a fund of Rs 1,000 crore back in 2018
The department of telecommunications (DoT) hosted a meeting on Wednesday. Various key stakeholders from the telecom gear manufacturing sector, the meeting discussed plans to roll out a production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for telecom equipment.
Three such schemes have already been announced for promoting local manufacturing of mobile phones, components and electronics. In fact, the government of India has also unveiled a scheme for promoting manufacturing of medical devices locally.
5G telecom gear manufacturing on the cards
The emphasis of under-draft scheme might be in manufacturing 5G telecom gear in India. Once rolled out it might encourage global players like Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei to make in India.
This meeting was called as a result of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) voicing out that the industry bodies were not consulted while preparing the draft of the scheme for telecom gear manufacturing.
Indian companies might have to fulfill different specifications than the global MNCs in order to apply for the scheme. This was also seen in the recently announced PLI schemes for mobile manufacturing. The threshold for consolidated revenue figures for global giants might be a bit higher than Indian companies.
TRAI recommended setting a fund of Rs 1,000 crore back in 2018
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in 2018, had recommended setting up of a Rs 1,000 crore fund for promoting research and innovation in the telecommunications equipment sector. The authority had also shared an aim envisagng net zero imports of telecommunications equipment by 2022.
“India should aim to achieve the objective of ‘net zero imports of telecommunication equipment by 2022. For this purpose, Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Council (TEMC), should identify and recommend specific areas of priorities,” TRAI had said back then.
India had imported about $21 billion worth of telecom equipment in FY 2018. These figures were about $ five billion up from $16.2 billion in FY 2017.