Govt plans four electronics clusters across state

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 02:32 hrs

With strong focus on the electronics sector, Gujarat government is planning to come up with at least four electronic clusters across the state over the next few years, besides drafting an electronic policy in order to woo investments into the state.

Ravi S Saxena,additional chief secretary, department of science & technology, Gujarat said, "The Centre is planning to have around 200 electronics clusters across the country. And for each cluster of around 100 acres, the government of India (GoI) has announced a subsidy of Rs 50 crore, plus the Centre would also bear around 75 per cent of the cost of setting up a common facility center in these clusters. In Gujarat, we are planning to develop electronic clusters at Sanand, Halol, Mandal and Dholera."

The state is also planning to come up with an electronic policy of its own, to attract potential investors into Gujarat. While Saurabh Patel, minister for energy and petrochemicals, tourism, labour and employment, government of Gujarat, did not wish to give out the exact timing of when the policy would be released, he said that it would be declared very soon.

Gujarat has the potential to have a $70 billion (Rs 3.8 lakh crore) electronics industry in the state by 2020 which can employ around 50 lakh people, informed Pankaj Mohindroo, national president, Indian Cellular Association. The electronics consumption in the country is clocking a compounded annual growth rate of around 23 per cent and is pegged at $ 400 billion by 2020.

Saxena explained that the state government is planning to have one major company, preferably an original design manufacturer (ODM) as the anchor industry in each of these clusters, and an entire ecosystem of vendors can develop around it.

The industry has mooted some proposals that would incentivise the growth of electronics industry in the state. "While the government was drafting the electronic policy, they came to us for suggestions. We have suggested to incorporate an uniform value-added tax structure across product categories, as well as rebate in power tariff to make the industry competitive," said Kaushik Pandya, senior official of the Federation of Information Technology Associations of Gujarat.

Mohendroo too echoed the same demand, saying, "A uniform rate of taxation on mobile phones and data communication devices is welcome. India already has the labour cost advantage, and rebates in power tariff can ensure that the electronics manufacturing industry here is competitive vis-a-vis China."

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