'Mobile phones production in India may reach 500 mn in 2 yrs'

'Mobile phones production in India may reach 500 mn in 2 yrs'

With India becoming a global hub for manufacturing of mobile phones, the country may reach production of 500 million units in next two years on the back of an incentive policy and availability of good talent, a top official of Department of Telecom (DoT) said today.

In 2015, production of mobile phones in the country has already reached 100 million."The number of phones being manufactured was 10 million sometime back (now it has increased) to 100 million. The time has come when we will reach 500 million, may be in 2 years," Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said here.

He was speaking on the second day of a seminar on Telecom and Broadcasting theme – ART (Adjudication, Regulation, Telecommunication) of Convergence, TDSAT.

He added that apart from phones, the differential tariff is helping domestic manufacturers to get into other areas like medical electronics, consumer electronics as well as broadband equipment and set up boxes.

"Today, with base of talent and incentive policy, India is becoming a global hub for manufacturing of phones and specially low-end phones," he added.

The government is making efforts to reduce imports of electronic products and meet requirement of domestic market through indigenous production.

Given the governments push for Make in India, device makers, including Micromax, Lava, Gionee, Lenovo, OnePlus and Xiaomi, have started assembling their devices in the country.

India is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally and device makers are keen to set up manufacturing units here to cater to the burgeoning demand.

Foxconn, the world's biggest contract manufacturer of electronics goods, including for Apple Inc, has announced plans to set up as many as 12 factories in India.

The government has received proposals worth Rs 1.13 lakh crore in the electronics manufacturing segment from major brands under the modified special incentive package scheme (M-SIPS).

M-SIPS has been extended till July 2020, which was earlier valid till July 2017. The scheme offers capital subsidies to large investments in electronics manufacturing and system design.

The Secretary also said that making high-speed broadband available to individuals in rural areas is a priority of the government.

According to a survey, he said, while Internet users may have touched 400 million, broadband users are in the range of 40-50 million and growing very slowly in rural areas.

"May be 7 per cent people in rural areas use Internet. More importantly, it's the issue of digital divide. We have only 14 per cent rural households which are digitally literate... this needs to change," he said.

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