One of the largest and fastest growing domain of the present-day world is the electronics industry which significantly impacts the economic growth of a nation. Finding its applications in all major sectors the use of electronics is widespread. Facilitating the modernization in terms of advanced technology driven systems, the Government has devised numerous strategies to stimulate the production capacity of electronic items in India. With a view to improve the country’s position on the global ‘Ease to do business’ index, policies such as “Digital India”, “Make in India”, “Startup India”, “Standup India” and “Skill India” were brought forth. Reinforcing the objective boosting the manufacturing sector of India with increased output in terms of electronic products, the Government has introduced a draft National Electronics Policy, 2018 requiring views and comments from the public by October 23, 2018.
Draft National Electronics Policy, 2018
The draft National Electronics Policy, 2018 (hereinafter referred to as the “draft Policy”) for the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (hereinafter referred to as “ESDM”) Sector of India was introduced by the Government on October 10, 2018 with the aim of prioritizing electronics hardware manufacturing. The Government seeks to build on that foundation to propel the growth of ESDM industry in the country thereby elevating the status of India in the international sphere. Some of the features of the said draft policy are stated below:
- Creating eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector: Encourage domestic manufacturing of electronic products and their inputs by building a comprehensive ecosystem by formulating suitable methods in accordance to the Information Technology Agreement of the World Trade Organization, providing tax benefits (including investment-linked deductions, import duty, etc.), allowing easily applicable subsidies and credit default guarantees, supporting for infrastructure development, etc.
- Developing and Mandating Standards: Setting up an institutional mechanism offering updated facilitates and establishing standards for better governance of regulations in the field of commercial activities relating to electronic goods within the country.
- Ease-of-doing-Business: Fostering the investment in the domain of electronics, the Government has provided a single window for business related transactions.
- Industry-led Research & Development and Innovation: Promoting the innovators for path-breaking research at grass root level inventions at early stage of their growth and pooling the identified technologies permitting them certain tax reliefs while protecting their legal rights in the form of intellectual properties.
- Human Resource Development: Enhancing the availability of skilled manpower and providing skill development in the electronics sector to aid its progress.
- Export Promotion: Offering attractive package of incentives for promotion of indigenization and export of electronics in the form of reimbursement of State levies, duty free import of second-hand capital goods, entering into Free Trade Agreements world-wide, helping in Brand-building, etc.
- Cyber Security: Creating awareness by educating on cyber security issues/ concerns, risks and mitigation thereof.
- Mega Projects: Cost effective schemes for Mega Projects which are extremely high-tech and entail huge investments.
- Preferential Market Access: Encourage the domestic manufacturing market and assist in its expansion.
- Developing core competencies in the sub-sectors of Electronics: Enabling a multi-fold growth of fabless chip design industry, Medical Electronic Devices Industry, Automotive Electronics Industry and Power Electronics for Mobility, Strategic Electronics Industry, etc.
- Promotion of other aspects of electronic industry: Encouraging electronic manufacturing services, the domain of Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging, stockpiling and availability of raw materials, proper disposal of wastes, etc. for the effective development of electronic industry.
The draft policy focuses on raising domestic manufacturing, strengthen India’s linkages with global trade, build a risk-management ecosystem, investor friendly schemes, ensure effective protection from dumping of electronics goods, improving research & development, etc. Awaiting suggestions from the public would help in better formulation of the guidelines emphasizing on the betterment of the electronics sector of the country thus making India a global manufacturing hub in this arena