Apple Inc today indicated to the governmentthat it is ready with a blueprint to begin manufacturing iPhones in India, but wantsfiscal concessions, including Customs duty waiver on import of components.
Apple executives made a detailed presentationon its road map for setting up a manufacturing unit in India to an inter-ministerial groupheaded by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ramesh Abhishek, sourcesprivy to the development said.
The presentation was made by senior executivesof the company, including Global Vice-President (iPhone operations) Priya Balasubramanian.
It cited the country's business friendly ecosystemfor keenness to start local manufacturing.
With sales tapering in the US and China, Appleis eyeing India — the fastest growing smartphone market in the world — and looking to setup a local manufacturing unit to cut costs.
It, however, does not manufacture deviceson its own and rather does it through contract manufacturers.
Besides exemption from the Customs duty onimports of components and equipment for 15 years, Apple wants relaxation in the mandated30 per cent local sourcing of components.
When contacted, Apple spokesperson told PTI:"We have been working hard to develop our operations in India and are proud to deliverthe best products and services in the world to our customers here.
" The spokesperson added: "We appreciate theconstructive and open dialogue we have had with the government about further expandingour local operations.
" On the duty and tax-related concessions beingsought by the company, the sources said most of them are within the policy domain and decisionswill be taken by the respective departments.
"They are seeking certain duty exemptionsand other concessions.
Respective departments will look at thosedemands," they added.
The official also said the company has indicatedthat it would gradually make India a major manufacturing hub for its products.
"The company setting up its manufacturingunit in India is going to be a reality.
They have full-fledged plans.
There is no policy impediment.
They would also bring their supply chains,"the sources divulged.
The company executives yesterday called onCommerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
In a communication to the government, theCupertino-based technology major has asked for several tax and other incentives, includinglong-term duty exemptions, to enter the manufacturing sector in India.
Currently, the government provides supportby way of benefits under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) to boostelectronic manufacturing.
The company sells its products through Apple-ownedretail stores in countries like China, Germany, the US, the UK and France, among others.
It has no wholly-owned store in India andsells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.