India has announced the draft of a new electronics policy which seeks to build a strong manufacturing base and address the issues that are the cause of the current weak manufacturing ecosystem in place.
The ambitious new plan is low on specifics but clearly mentions that more policy issues are to be announced over an (unspecified) period of time.
The draft looks at several long-pending issues, including the creation of a National Electronics Mission that covers the setting up of wafer fabrication facilities, VLSI incubation centers and the development of a so-called ‘India Microprocessor’.
The steps include special and attractive financial incentives for indigenous manufacturing, setting up of wafer fab facilities, giving locally manufactured electronic systems a boost by preferential treatment in purchases, creating a fund for promoting electronics manufacturing in particular, creating scores of clusters for promoting electronics manufacturing and paying special attention to automotive electronics and industrial electronics.
The hope is to achieve promote production from about $20 billion in 2009 to a relatively massive but unspecified target that includes getting to $ 55 billion in chip design and $80 billion in exports. This, from a design exports revenue of $7.5 billion!
According to the new draft announced by Kapil Sibal, federal minister for communications and information technology, the plan is to rename the Department of Information Technology as the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to reflect the new impetus being sought for electronics manufacturing in the country.
The draft policy has been hailed as one of the most significant in the history of electronics production in India, even though most said they would wait for the final policy to be announced before commenting on the same.
“We are sure that this policy will give a much needed fillip to the electronics and system design industry in India. Measures like the electronic product development fund, the focus on talent development and the preferential market access to local products could act as the key catalysts to spurring innovation and the growth of world class companies in this sector,” said P.V.G. Menon, president, India Semiconductor Association.