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Is Apple trying to imbibe its footprints in India?

Though there are more than 40 companies manufacturing mobile phones in the country, none of them has demanded the sort of concessions that Apple has sought for manufacturing in India, the sources said.

The Apple executives present at the meeting included Priya Balasubramaniam, a company vice president.

The Times of India reported at the end of last month that Apple was looking into setting up a factory to build iPhones in Bangalore, which is the main tech hub in India. Presently, the software giant has six manufacturing units in China and one in Brazil.

"We've been working hard to develop our operations in India", Apple said in a brief statement issued to Reuters. "The government has not taken any decision", an official said. However, it apparently wants a number of demands to be met before it starts doing so including things like an exemption on customs duty for 15 years, fiscal concessions, and a relaxation on the compulsory 30% local sourcing rule for components.

The company has sought the duty waivers for its suppliers, citing the inverted duty structure as a reason for the request. They also stated that it appreciated the constructive and open dialogue which it has had with the administration about further expanding its local activities.

Make in India is an initiative launched by the Government of India to encourage multi-national and national companies to manufacture their products in India. On the duty and tax-related concessions being sought by the company, the officials said a lot of them are within the policy domain and decisions will be taken by the respective departments. "Others we will have to be discussed internally by the respective departments", said a senior government official who attended the meeting. In a communication to the government, the Cupertino-based technology major has asked for several tax and other incentives, including long-term duty exemptions, to enter the manufacturing sector in India.

Currently, there is the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme to promote manufacturing of electronic items in India.



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