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India’s telecom equipment manufacturing sales cross Rs 50,000 cr under PLI scheme

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Sales of telecom equipment have surpassed the Rs 50,000 crore milestone under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Communication, this accomplishment reflects the success of governmental efforts to bolster domestic manufacturing and reduce import dependence, aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Within three years of its inception, the Telecom PLI scheme has attracted an investment of Rs 3,400 crore, surpassing the Rs 50,000 crore milestone in telecom equipment production, with exports reaching approximately Rs 10,500 crore.

This achievement has resulted in the creation of more than 17,800 direct jobs and numerous indirect employment opportunities, underscoring the robust growth and competitiveness of India’s telecom manufacturing sector.

Government initiatives aimed at promoting local production and reducing import dependency have played a pivotal role in this success, aiming to bolster domestic manufacturing capabilities and position India as a global hub for telecom equipment production, read the press release.

The Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Large Scale Electronic Manufacturing of Electronics, encompassing mobile phone and component manufacturing, has significantly boosted both production and export figures.

From producing 5.8 crore mobile phones and importing 21 crore units in 2014-15, India manufactured 33 crore phones domestically in 2023-24, with only 0.3 crore units imported and nearly 5 crore units exported.

The value of mobile phone exports surged from Rs 1,556 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,28,982 crore in 2023-24, highlighting substantial growth and reduced import reliance.

India, historically a net importer of telecom gear, has seen a transformative shift due to initiatives like Make-in-India and the PLI scheme, resulting in domestic equipment production valued at over Rs 50,000 crore, read the press release.

The telecom equipment manufacturing sector has shown exceptional growth under the PLI scheme, with total sales exceeding Rs 50,000 crore, marking a 370 per cent increase compared to the base year of FY 2019-20.

Generating over 17,800 direct jobs and additional roles across the manufacturing value chain, fostering economic growth and development.

Encouraging local production, the scheme has reduced India’s reliance on imported telecom equipment by 60 per cent, enhancing national security and self-reliance in critical technologies.

Indian manufacturers are now competing globally, offering high-quality products at competitive prices, particularly in advanced telecom technologies like 5G.

Under the stewardship of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), initiatives like the PLI Scheme for Telecom and Networking Products have significantly narrowed the gap between telecom imports and exports, read the press release.

In FY 2023-24, exports of telecom equipment and mobiles combined totaled over Rs 1.49 lakh crore, slightly below imports valued at Rs 1.53 lakh crore, reflecting India’s growing export prowess in the sector.

Minister of Communications and Electronics, Ashwini Vaishnaw, posted on X, “The reality of mobile phone, electronics and telecom product manufacturing is known to all except those who don’t like our country’s progress. In 2014-15, India produced only 5.8 Crore mobile phones and imported about 21 Crore mobile phones. In 2023-24, Bharat produced 33 Crore phones and exported close to 5 Crore mobile phones. Telecom equipment manufacturing was a dream for India. PLI enabled telecom manufacturing. In 2023-24, telecom equipment production topped benchmark of Rs. 45,000 Crore. Exports crossed Rs. 10,500 Crore. Guess who else, apart from Congress, doesn’t like our country emerging as a manufacturer of mobile phones and telecom equipment?”

Over the past five years, the trade deficit in telecom products has decreased from Rs 68,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore, demonstrating the PLI schemes’ success in enhancing India’s global competitiveness and attracting investments in cutting-edge technologies.