Global firms including Nokia, Jabil Circuits, Foxconn, Flextronics, Sanmina-SCI, Rising Star and domestic companies Dixon Technologies, Tata Group firm Akashastha Technologies and Tejas Networks, HFCL, Syrma Technology, ITI limited, Neolync Tele Communications and VVDN Technologies have qualified for the scheme. The applicants have committed to invest Rs 3,345 crore in the next 4 years and generate incremental employment for more than 40,000 people with expected incremental production of worth around Rs 1.82 lakh crore over the scheme period.
''Whatever product you make should be affordable, sustainable and it should be world class. Rs 3,345 crore is not a big amount. We want to give more incentive to you on condition that your product should be of that level. The government is helping you (industry players) as a catalyst,'' Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said.
The scheme is expected to boost domestic research and development of new products on which 15 per cent of the committed investment could be invested.
''We want to make India a telecom manufacturing hub through PLI. I believe it can be possible only if we encourage value addition in the country,'' DoT Special Secretary Anita Praveen said. The list of qualified applicants consists 16 micro, small and medium enterprises which includes Coral Telecom, Ehoome IoT, Elcom Innovations, Frog Cellsat, GDN Enterprises, GX India, Lekha Wireless, Surbhi Satcom, Systrome Technologies, Tianyin Worldtech etc.
''This is the first scheme among all PLI schemes, which includes MSMEs. Without this, we would have been handicapped,'' Coral Telecom managing director Rajesh Tuli said. Telecom manufacturers body TEMA said that the PLI is a step in the right direction to make India Aatmanirbhar in the telecom sector.
''The decision has come at the right time and investment of the order of Rs 5,000 crore has been committed, as besides PLI beneficiaries' Rs 3,345 crore, there would be investment in ancillaries and startups of about Rs 1,600 crore. This will boost R&D, innovations and help in domestic manufacturing of 4G and 5G. India will soon be suppliers to the world for 4G and 5G,'' TEMA chairman emeritus NK Goyal said. Telecom industry body COAI director general SP Kochhar said that the scheme will create employment opportunities and open up various avenues for the people of this country. ''India is already the second largest telecom market globally and this will go a long way in making the country a global hub for telecom innovation,'' Kochhar said.
The DoT notified the PLI scheme for telecom and networking products on February 24, 2021, with a financial outlay of Rs 12,195 crore, over the five years.
The scheme for telecom gear manufacturing in India is expected to encourage the production of equipment worth Rs 2.44 lakh crore and create direct and indirect employment for about 40,000 people. ''The scheme is first of its kind where incentives are given based on companies turnover. This will surely lead to investment and job creation in Telecom Manufacturing in India,'' Frog Cellsat CEO Konark Trivedi said.
The investors can earn an incentive for incremental sales up to 20 times the committed investment, enabling them to reach global scales and utilise their unused capacity and ramp up production.