Govt has not accepted demands of Apple: Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman informs Rajya Sabha that the government has not accepted ‘most of the demands’ of iPhone maker Apple which wants to set up manufacturing unit in India


A file photo of commerce and industry minister  Nirmala Sitharaman. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/ Mint
A file photo of commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/ Mint

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said it has not accepted ‘most of the demands’ of iPhone maker Apple which wants to set up manufacturing unit in India.

To a question in Rajya Sabha on whether the government has accepted most of the demands of the iPhone manufacturer, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “No”.

Apple India has sought concessions including duty exemption on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service/repair for a period of 15 years, she said in a written reply.

In a communication to the government, the Cupertino-based technology major has asked for incentives from the Department of Revenue and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITy).

Apple also wants relaxation in the mandated 30% local sourcing of components. It also wants reduction in customs duties on completely- knocked-down and semi-knocked-down units of devices that are to be assembled in the country.

In January, Apple had indicated to the government that it is ready with a blueprint to begin manufacturing iPhones in India, but wants fiscal concessions, including Customs duty waiver on import of components.

Apple executives had made a detailed presentation to an inter-ministerial group headed by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion secretary Ramesh Abhishek on its road map.

With sales tapering in the US and China, Apple is eyeing India — the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world — and looking to set up a local manufacturing unit to cut costs. It, however, does not manufacture devices on its own and does it through contract manufacturers.

The company sells its products through Apple-owned retail stores in countries like China, Germany, the US, the UK and France, among others. It has no wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.

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