Setback for Apple’s store plans in India

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In what can be termed as a setback for Apple’s plan to open retain stores in the country the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has red-flagged a panel’s recommendation to relax the mandatory local sourcing norm for the US-based company to sell its products through the single-brand retail window.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently in India and met Prime Minister Naresndra Modi to discuss his plans to open Apple Stores in the country and also possibilities of opening a manufacturing base here.

According to a government panel which comprised members from departments of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) and information technology has said that FIPB should look at a waiver from the current 30 per cent sourcing norm on the ground that Apple products were “cutting edge,” and if it falls under this category than one can do away with the domestic procurement rule.

According to government source, there is no evidence that Apple products are cutting-edge or high technology so they cannot give the waiver to Apple stores in India.

Apple is looking at India as its next big desitnation and it has been agruing with the government that they need waiver as they cannot meet the government’s sourcing norms. As since the government has a provision that if the products are of high technology there is special policy window which allows companies to open stores without any local content requirement.

By Atanu Kumar Das