iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched a new performance-linked incentive scheme last year and encouraged top global companies to produce more products in the country in connection with his Make in India initiative.
The incentive scheme was mainly aimed at increasing the production of IT products such as tablets, laptops, and servers.
The US electronic giant, Apple Inc is keen to participate in this new scheme to boost India’s exports and is in plans to bring iPad tablet manufacturing to the country.
On Thursday, February 18, it was announced that Apple is reportedly among a group of companies lobbying the Indian government to increase the budget of the new proposal to $2.7 billion, to compensate for the lack of supply chain infrastructure.
Apple, which has steadily raised the production of iPhones in India to lessen its dependence on Chinese manufacturing, took part in that scheme via its contract manufacturers.
A source cited by Reuters says that the Indian government “is asking Apple to get iPads assembled by its contract manufacturers here, the non-Chinese companies.”
Currently, three Apple suppliers operate in the country: Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron. Out of the three, it’s not clear which one would be responsible for producing the iPad, or which iPad model would be produced.
The performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which offers cash-back to manufacturers for exports, will have a budget of up to $964.5 million over five years, the sources said. It’s expected to be launched by the end of February.
A report by Nikkei Asia last month reported similar ambitions by Apple to increase local production of the iPad, alongside the iPhone and Mac in India. The report cited production beginning as early as the middle of this year, which seems to line up with the expected announcement of the new Indian PLI scheme.
A number of Apple suppliers have already begun operations in India. Last year, iPhone supplier Pegatron reportedly increased its investment in India to $150 million, and an earlier report cited that Apple may be planning to produce up to $40 billion worth of smartphones in the country.
“The government is asking Apple to get iPads assembled by its contract manufacturers here, the non-Chinese companies” one of the sources, a government official said.
India last year banned more than 200 Chinese-origin mobile applications, saying they threatened the security of the country. It also announced new controls on telecoms gear purchases.
Despite the efforts by the tech-giant to boost the production of products outside of China and into India, recent riots have put a dampener on the pace of those efforts.
In December, workers at a factory owned by supplier Wistron went on a rampage, ransacking and damaging the site over claims of unpaid wages. In response, Apple placed the supplier on probation and found that it had violated its “Supplier Code of Conduct.” Apple has yet to remove the supplier from probation.