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Apple wants 15-year duty concession from Indian government for its Make in India plans: Report

Apple’s list of demands for concessions before setting up manufacturing facility in India grows.

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Apple iPhone 7 Plus: The dual-camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus includes a pair of 12-megapixel snappers -- one is a 28mm wide-angle lens that is the same as the one on the iPhone 7 and the other is a 56mm telephoto lens. The setup is capable of shooting photos with up to 2X optical zoom and up to 10X digital zoom. Courtesy of a beta software update, there is now a new Portrait mode, which allows users to click portrait shots with bokeh effect in real-time. Using machine learning and a feature called ‘Depth’, the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera is able to recognize a person’s face, do a depth-map of their position, and then blur the background to create a DSLR-like portrait shot with bokeh effect.

Apple has reportedly sought a 15-year customs duty holiday on the import of iPhone kits, new equipment and consumables to set up a manufacturing facility in India. The company has also sought duty concessions on components, completely knocked down (CKD) and semi knocked down (SKD) units that could be reassembled at a local facility. The latest request comes in addition to Apple’s previous demands for exemption from compulsory 30 percent local sourcing to set up a single retail brand in India.

Apple’s new application calls for “full duty exemption on manufacturing and repair inputs (raw materials), yield loss on inputs, components, capital equipment (including parts), and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and services/repair for a period of 15 years for both domestic and export markets,” reports IndianExpress.

The publication further reports that Apple has sought exemption from extra taxes or new taxes on import of finished products under the proposed GST purview. “As GST would subsume all indirect taxation and the government will be looking at keeping a differential to provide an advantage to domestic manufacturers, we would strongly advocate for the government not to impose any additional hurdles or taxes on the importation of finished products,” adds the report. ALSO READ: Apple seeks incentives to set up manufacturing unit in India

The latest development comes shortly after Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed that the government hadn’t come to a conclusion on Apple’s requests for concessions for its Make in India plans. “We are discussing that… no other mobile manufacturer has sought any extra concessions… we have not taken any decision,” she said.

It is believed that the ministry might have to make a policy-level change to adhere to Apple’s demands. According to reports, the ministry will have to make changes to the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme as the company has also requested for duty concessions on “used” capital goods, spare parts and components as part of the scheme. Though the scheme currently bars companies from importing second-hand capital goods or spares.

“This requirement translates into our request to include new and used capital equipment in the scope of both EPCG and MSIPS (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme),” IE quotes the application. ALSO READ: Apple’s proposal to sell refurbished iPhones in India rejected

Earlier, reports had said that Apple was also looking relaxation in India’s labelling laws so that it doesn’t have to print the product-related information directly on the device and instead provide the information through the software or on the outer packaging.