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Apple at work on proposal to make India an iPhone export hub: Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Date: 22-03-2018
Subject: Apple at work on proposal to make India an iPhone export hub: Ravi Shankar Prasad
NEW DELHI: Cupertino-based smartphone maker Apple is looking at making India an export hub and is working on a fresh proposal to negotiate with the government, Union minister for electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad told ET in an interview. 

Apple has been in talks with the Indian government for tax breaks and incentives to produce iPhones and expand operations for a couple of years but has been unsuccessful so far. 

“Apple wanted a lot of exemptions which would have led to a situation of discrimination vis a vis other players, therefore we explained to them the whole position. My department is now in talks with them and I understand that they are keen to make India a hub of their exports so they are reworking their proposal,” said Prasad. He added that the government will take a call on any fresh request for changes in policy or new incentives after Apple comes up with a fresh proposal. 

Apple did not respond to an email seeking comment till the time of going to press. 

The new proposal is expected to be submitted as soon as April, a person close to the development told ET requesting anonymity. 

If the company sets up in a special economic zone (SEZ), the custom duty will not be applicable on it and they can export goods to other countries from the unit. The duty will be imposed only on the goods which are sold within the country.

 “Apple can have majority operations in the SEZ and a minor plant in the DTA zone (domestic tariff area), so a hybrid model can be worked out which suits their situation,” said the person. 

Apple is currently chalking out details on the location of the unit, the concessions required along with the support needed from both the state as well as the central government. It is also exploring details around the share of exports and domestic production along with the partner ecosystem. 

The iPhone maker does not manufacture phones, Macs or iPods on its own, but through contract manufacturers such as Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron and others, that have large operations in China. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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