India is awaiting an appropriate proposal from US tech giant Apple to set up a manufacturing unit in the country, Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday. Briefing reporters after a meeting of the Council for Trade Development and Promotion, the Minister said India was looking to manufacture more of products it currently imported and was eager to partner with Apple in this regard.
“We are waiting for a good proposal from Apple… Please give us a concrete proposal. If the proposal comes, we will examine it. We are always open for that,” Prabhu said. “We are users, and we should be manufacturers… We should be partners of Apple,” he added.
While the matter of the American iPhone maker setting up a unit in India had been discussed during Chief Executive Tim Cook’s visit to India over a year ago, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Alphons Kannanthanam had, in October, also spoken favourably about the proposal.
In March last year, then Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had informed the Rajya Sabha that the government had not accepted most of the demands of the company for setting up a local unit. Apple has sought concessions, including duty exemption on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment and consumables for a period of 15 years. It also wants relaxation in the statutory 30 percent local sourcing of components.