Govt sets up task force for domestic mobile manufacturing

Govt sets up task force for domestic mobile manufacturing

Aiming to take the Make in India programme a step further, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has formed a Fast Track Task Force to reestablish growth in the country’s mobile handset and component manufacturing eco-system.

“The task force will be meeting the Department of Electronics and Information Technology Secretary (R S Sharma) in the first week of January,” Indian Cellular Association National President Pankaj Mohindroo said. Sharma is also the chairman of the task force.

“(One of the tasks is) To promote large-scale manufacturing/assembling activities to achieve production of 500 million units by 2019. This can create additional employment opportunities for 1.5 million approximately,” a note issued by the department said.

It also laid thrust on increasing exports from the estimated 30 million units in 2014 to 120 million units by 2019.

India’s position in mobile phone exports has fallen from 7th in 2009 to 14th in 2013. The value of exports was $3.40 billion in 2009 and fell to $2.28 billion in 2013.

Industry stakeholders say that at this rate, handset exports will crash to zero in 2015.
“Through this task force, we will be reaching out to global handset manufacturers, brands, original design manufacturers and electronic manufacturing services to request them to come and set up shop in India. The government has to provide a level playing fields to those players,” he said.

He said sub-committees will be formed under this group to carry out various tasks, adding that promoting manufacturing will also have a positive impact on the prices of mobile handsets and they will come down.

In India, Samsung and Micromax currently engage in the large-scale manufacturing of handsets. Nokia operated the world’s largest manufacturing facility at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu which was shut down in November on tax and labour issues.

All the other players import their products mostly from China, followed by Vietnam.

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