The quantity and value of mobile phones, including accessories imported by India in the past three years, have witnessed a significant downfall led by a significant rise in foreign investment and manufacturing capacities that have been put in place in India.
“India’s import of mobile phones reduce by 57% in value and 64% in quantity in three years,” said Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
Import of cellular mobile phone, push-button type, in value was $935 million in 2018, which came down to $400 million in 2019. Whereas smartphone import also saw downfall over 53 % in value to $1216 million from $2602 million in last year.
At present, close to 260 units manufacture cellular mobile handsets, including sub-assemblies of parts and components in India, according to India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA). For the manufacture of mobile handsets and their sub-assemblies or parts, 100% FDI is permitted.
“Rationalized tariff structure and a Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) for the promotion of manufacturing of mobile handsets and their sub-assemblies,” added Goyal in the reply.
Further, the minister said that the production of cellular mobile handsets has gone up from Rs. 18,900 crore (6 crore units) in 2014-15 to Rs.1,70,000 crore (29 crore units) in 2018-19.
Earlier in February, the government had notified the National Policy on Electronics (NPE 2019) with the vision to position India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM).
Govt plans to produce 1 billion mobile handsets and achieve a turnover of $400 billion by 2025.
Meanwhile, the mobile handset industry has expressed concern over the recent reduction of export incentives to 2%. Industry body ICEA said at a time when for the first time India mobile handset export has been more than its import the move could be detrimental for electronics manufacturing in the country and lead to job loss.