Apple still hasn’t given up on its ‘Make-in-India’ iPhone dream

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Apple has not given up on its plans for make-in-India after the Indian government rejects its demands.

Senior executives of iPhone maker Apple today held detailed deliberations on their demands related to duty concession with officials of the finance ministry.

The meeting assumes significance as the revenue department has rejected the demands of the US-based technology major.

According to sources, the duty wish-list was discussed at the meeting, which was attended by key executives of the company.

Apple India has sought concessions, including duty exemption on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment. It also sought relaxations for consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service or repair for 15 years as it plans to set up a manufacturing unit in India.

These concessions would help the company get component makers to set up units in the country as it cannot source inputs locally.

India is gradually becoming a smartphone manufacturing hub, and there is a feeling that giving concession to a particular company could be difficult for the government.

In a communication to the government, the Cupertino-based technology major has asked for incentives from the Department of Revenue and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITy).

Apple also wants relaxation in the mandated 30 per cent local sourcing of components.

It is also keen on reduction in customs duties on completely-knocked-down and semi-knocked-down units of devices that are to be assembled in the country.

In January, Apple had indicated to the government that it is ready with a blueprint to begin manufacturing iPhones in India, but wants fiscal concessions, including Customs duty waiver on import of components.

The company sells its products through Apple-owned retail stores in countries like China, Germany, the US, the UK and France, among others. It has no wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.

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