Telecom industry bats for linking public procurement norms with PLI schemes

New Delhi: Telecom industry manufacturers and experts have recommended the linkage of India’s public procurement norms with the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, to provide market access to global companies who make equipment locally.
“Telecom products are unique and highly customised, making it impossible to manufacture at scale in a single location. Current value addition norms are very high and do not factor in the nascent component ecosystem,” according to a whitepaper published by telecom industry think tank Broadband India Forum (BIF).
As per the recommendation the Preference to Make in India (PMI) policy must be linked with PLI to enable exports.
“OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) must be granted ‘points’ equivalent to the total value of exports, which can be used to qualify as a class 1 supplier for other products, which may not be manufactured in India, i.e. these products are ‘deemed domestic’.”
According to PMI rules, class-I local suppliers get the most preference in all government purchases because their domestic value addition is 50% or more.
The body also recommended that the electronics ministry’s definition of value addition must be adopted as a standard for telecom manufacturing.
For instance, it provides the full value of all components that go into a printed circuit board (PCB), as long as the PCB assembly is done in India.
Experts also pushed for reduction in 5G spectrum prices and speedy allocation of the airwaves for early rollout of the next-gen technology.
“The Finance Ministry should be aggressive in providing budgetary stimulus since the telecom sector continues to contribute around 6.5% to India’s GDP. It is therefore advised that the 5G spectrum should be provided at affordable pricing.”
There is also an opportunity to incentivise manufacturing of IoT, M2M and SRD devices through a PLI scheme focused on such devices.


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