- 127 units that manufacture mobile phones (89 of them do so exclusively) in India, just around 41 per cent are operational
- The figure is 55 per cent for the 65 units making battery packs (21 exclusively)
- 58 per cent for the 130 making chargers (85 exclusively)
The government has put out, on various occasions, very different numbers to show how successful the Make-in-India policy has been when it comes to mobile phone manufacturing locally.
In its 2017-18 report, the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) put it at 120 units making mobiles and components (59 were making only handsets); in February 2019, however, the National Policy on Electronics (NPE 2019) said there were 268 units for mobile handsets and components that had been set up in the last 3-4 years.
In December 2018, the prime minister went with the first estimate and spoke of 120 mobile makers. In the Interim Budget on February 1, the finance minister used the 268 number and said this was a big jump from just two units earlier.
What’s the real scenario?
Financial Express reported that of the 127 units that manufacture mobile phones (89 of them do so exclusively) in India, just around 41 per cent are operational; the figure is 55 per cent for the 65 units making battery packs (21 exclusively) and 58 per cent for the 130 making chargers (85 exclusively).
According to NPE 2019, the production of mobile handsets rose from 60 million in 2014-15 to 225 million in 2017-18; and these units provided employment to 6.7 lakh persons directly and indirectly.
Fairly low levels of value addition, however, have meant that while imports of complete phones have fallen from $8bn in FY15 to $3.5bn in FY18, imports of mobile-specific components rose from $2.8bn to $11.6bn; imports of components seem to have fallen in FY19, but that is due to the import classification of some items changing.
(News source: Financial Express)