Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Wednesday said it has launched a helpdesk for mobile and its component manufacturers seeking to relocate their production bases in India.

Its reach-out programme will seek to amplify the policy packages to help create a buzz around India as the preferred destination for investment through Indian and international agencies such as Invest India and others.

The announcement comes on the heels of three major schemes being launched by the Indian government - Production-Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI), Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) and Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme - to boost the electronics manufacturing sector.

These policies echo the maxim 'vocal for local' as espoused by the Prime Minister for a stronger and more self-reliant Indian economy, IAMAI said in a statement.

Electronics import accounts for almost 11 per cent of total imports in India, and is valuated at Rs 4 trillion as on October 2019.

A vibrant domestic electronics manufacturing sector can not only help India reduce import dependency and become self-reliant, but has the potential of emerging as a major export revenue earner for the country, it said.

IAMAI extends its full co-operation to the government in this endeavour and the helpdesk is an effort to compliment the initiative, it said.

"The government agencies are not well-equipped to hand-hold individual firm, promote incentives overseas; and manufacturing investments are very difficult to relocate on account of time and effort.

"Therefore, considerable additional efforts are required to build trust and convince global manufacturing firms to actually take the call to invest in a new location," IAMAI said.

The IAMAI helpdesk seeks to address these issues via a two-pronged approach.

The industry body said it will leverage its international partners for the helpdesk to vigorously promote the enabling policies that the Government of India has announced in overseas markets such as East Asia, Europe, and the US with a view to establish India as a preferred destination of investment in electronics manufacturing.

IAMAI noted that some investors perceive India to be a difficult market for investments on account of variations in language, the two-tiered federal structure, compliance, and obligations under federal laws, taxation, and customs clearances.

The association understands that global firms will require a deeper level of handholding through various issues in the course of their relocation - from the initiation of the investment decision to the actual settlement at a location of their choice and convenience, it added.

"Investment in manufacturing is based on transparency and robustness of policies which the government has provided in case of electronics manufacturing. On the other hand, there is a need for on-ground support and hand-holding leading to trust-building with individual firms, which IAMAI seeks to enable via the helpdesk," IAMAI President Subho Ray said. PTI SR
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