In addition to the financial incentives being provided to set up semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the country, the government could encourage manufacturers of electronic products to use made-in-India semiconductors, while potentially restricting imports to a certain extent, a senior IT Ministry official said.
“Apart from offering financial incentives to companies to set up semiconductor fabs in the country, we could potentially encourage that products made in India will have to use semiconductors made here,” the official said.
Indicating the possibility of import restrictions on semiconductors once capacity here is up and running, the official said: “Why would we allow that to be imported from somewhere else if there’s a … compatible product … that is being made in India. Why would we allow something to be imported from Taiwan?”
Last December, the Union Cabinet approved a Rs 76,000-crore plan to provide incentive support for companies engaged in silicon semiconductor fabs, display fabs, compound semiconductors, silicon photonics, sensor fabs, semiconductor packaging and semiconductor design.
The first stage of evaluation of these applications will be carried out by the India Semiconductor Mission, according to the official quoted above. “The government is in the final stages of selecting a CEO of the Indian Semiconductor Mission (ISM) and could make a decision as early as mid May. Once that is done, the ISM will start the evaluation of proposals for the PLI scheme,” the person added.
“Once the proposals are cleared by the ISM, they will head to the Cabinet for final approval. We estimate that after a deal is signed it will take around three years for the selected entities to start semiconductor production.”
So far, the government has received five applications for setting up of semiconductor fabrication and display fabrication units with a total investment commitment of $20.5 billion (Rs 1.53 lakh crore). For setting up of semiconductor fab units, proposals have been received from Vedanta (which has announced a joint-venture with Foxconn), Singapore-based IGSS Ventures, and ISMC, which is led by Next Orbit Ventures Fund.
(The correspondent is in Bengaluru at the invite of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology)
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Soumyarendra BarikSoumyarendra Barik is a Principal Correspondent with The Indian Expres… read more