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Indian electronic sector aims to reduce imports by 15 percent
Tuesday February 3, 2015 11:20 AM , IANS

Heartened by the government's 'Make in India' campaign, the burgeoning electronics sector aims to reduce imports 15 percent and boost domestic manufacturing to 50 percent by fiscal 2016-17, a industry representative said Monday.

"We are aiming to bring down import of electronics (finished goods and components) to 50 percent from 65 percent and increase their local manufacturing to 50 percent from 35 percent currently by fiscal 2016-17," Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) chairman Ashok Chandak told reporters here on the margins of a summit.

With the industry's market size projected to touch a whopping $400 billion by 2025 from $90 billion in 2014-15, the industry hopes to slash imports to zero over the next five years by accelerating Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) to grow at 10-15 percent annually.

"If we don't ramp-up manufacturing of electronics goods and components in quantum, forex outgo on importing them at $300 billion would be higher than that of crude oil, as the turnover of domestic production at the current growth rate would be about $100 billion only," said Chandak, senior director at NXP Semiconductors.

The massive capacity expansion to manufacture electronics products for industrial and consumer segments and across verticals is expected to generate an additional 27.8 million jobs in the sector, which currently employs two million across the country.

"Though our long-term goal of zero imports by 2020 is ambitious, targets to meet the growing demand for electronics goods and services are achievable if all stakeholders - government, industry and academia work jointly to create a vibrant eco-system," Chandak said at the 10th edition of the association's vision summit.

Production ramp-up will lead to an additional investment of $15 billion in the sector with spin-offs and contribute to the national GDP (gross domestic product) 10 percent from 4 current percent as against 20 percent in China currently.

"We are committed to transform the 'Make in India' into a reality in this decade with support from central and state governments and academia. As the sector is capital intensive and has long gestation, we need to spur investments, promote international tie-ups, build a start-up ecosystem and implement policies and regulatory norms quickly," Chandak said.

Earlier, Association's president M.N. Vidyashankar, a former additional chief secretary in the Karnataka industry department, told about 1,000 delegates participating in the two-day conclave that as domestic manufacturing was the country's main focus, the industry had to evaluate the gap and promote start-ups and increase indigenous product development.

"We are inching towards building India as a manufacturing ready nation for the electronics segment, with robust infrastructure, comprising entrepreneur parks, incubation centres, component ecosystem and research and development (R&D) centres," Vidyashankar added.

Chief Minister Siddaramiah inaugurated the summit and former Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K. Radhakrishnan delivered the theme address on "Make in India: Vision to Reality".

As the premier trade body with about 250 members across the country, including multinational firms, the IESA promotes the Indian ESDM industry and facilitates the development of a vibrant ecosystem.

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