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NEW DELHI: The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), which includes Lava, Apple India, and Micromax as members, has sought incentives from the government to manufacture printed circuit boards (PCBs) in India. In a report calling for making India a global hub for PCBs, the industry body said it could present a $100 billion export opportunity for the country over the next five years, given the right incentives.

According to the report, the industry can achieve $109 billion in exports from India if the government provides 6% incentive to it. Without support, the same is estimated to fall to $4 billion, the report states.

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“With the required stimulus, there is a guaranteed $100 billion achievement, which we are ready to promise, and we have already promised. So the ball is squarely in the court of the government right now," said Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of the ICEA. Mohindroo said while the government’s production linked incentive (PLI) scheme will mitigate disabilities in mobile phones, this is a separate incentive being sought for manufacturing and export of PCBs in general.

He said PCB manufacturing for mobile phones in India has grown from about 3,000 crore-4,000 crore in 2015-16 to 90,000 crore, due to the rise in domestic manufacturing of mobile phones, which is mostly meant for the Indian market. China has already built large capacities of PCB manufacturing, which allows the country to undercut Indian manufacturers, even with lowered import duties for PCBs in India. As a result, manufacturing PCBs in India will help companies cut costs.

Further, the ICEA’s report noted that PCBs constitute about 40% of the bill of materials (BoM) cost of electronic products, and present a $600 billion market globally. They are required for growing product segments like mobile phones, tablets, notebooks and desktop PCs, smart TVs, audio devices and more. “As PCBs start getting manufactured here, and other components are manufactured here too, it will unleash a virtuous cycle of development of that entire industry," Mohindroo said.

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