India will consider US-based iPhone maker Apple’s request for incentives to invest in the country with an “open mind”, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters on Wednesday.
“We will very much like Apple to come and have a base in India,” Prasad said.
Apple has sent a list of demands to the Indian Government, seeking tax concessions and several other policy exemptions, as necessary pre-requisites before it starts production of its iPhones in India.
Earlier, Government sources had said that the Commerce and Industry ministry was not in favour of extending concessions to Apple for setting up manufacturing unit in India as no other firm has asked for any incentive.
The Government already provides benefits under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) to boost electronic manufacturing in the country.
The scheme provides financial incentives to offset disability and attract investments in the electronics hardware segment. It also gives a subsidy for investments in Special Economic Zones, among other benefits.
Currently, Apple’s products are manufactured in six countries, including Korea, Japan and the US.
Earlier, in May 2016, the Finance Ministry had rejected relaxing the 30 per cent domestic sourcing norms, as sought by the iPhone and iPad maker, as a pre-condition for bringing in FDI to set up single-brand retail stores in the country.
The company had sought exemption on the ground that it makes modern and cutting-edge technology products for which local sourcing is not possible.