On October 5th Patently Apple posted a report titled "Indian Government Considering Exemptions sought by Apple for setting up another iPhone Assembly Unit." Within 24 hours there was a TV report in India where the Minister had to say that Apple wasn't getting any special concessions and there was a lot of anger pointed at Apple wanting special treatment. Today a new report from India's Economic Times claims that the Government is weighing up Apple's proposal to set up manufacturing unit in India. Is the Indian government speaking from both sides of their mouth?
The Economic Times report noted that "The government is considering iPhone maker Apple's proposal for setting up manufacturing unit in India, Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam said today. Cupertino-based iPhone and iPad manufacturer Apple has sought certain concessions for setting up manufacturing unit in the country.
the Minister of State for Electronics and IT on the the sidelines of an event organized by industry body CII stated that "We would like Apple to come in India (for setting up manufacturing unit) and we are examining Apple's proposal."
Apple has sought concessions, including duty exemption on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service/repair for a period of 15 years.
Apple had also asked for relaxation in the mandated 30 per cent local sourcing of components besides reduction in custom duties on completely-knocked-down and semi-knocked-down units of devices that are to be assembled in the country."
The day before The Times of India reported that it wasn't possible to extend concessions to Apple under the GST regime.
"The government will not be able to extend tax and duty related concessions to iPhone maker Apple under the new indirect tax regime as the effort is to promote Make in India and not imports, an official source said.
"We have already hiked customs duty on smartphone and imports of its parts. So, it is clear that we do not want to encourage imports and rather encourage Make in India.
The government said that "With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in place, giving separate exemptions to anyone is not possible."
On the surface it appears that you have two factions within the government fighting it out in public. One side says the hell with Apple, they're not getting any meaningful concessions from us while the other camp is trying to put on a positive face on it by saying that the government is still working on a deal for Apple. What a basket case country.
The news on this story sways with the wind daily, weekly and monthly with nothing to show that Apple is going to get what they've been seeking. Until the Indian government makes up their mind to welcome Apple in with open arms and think longer term, Patently Apple won't be covering this story any longer until there's either a major break in the story or Apple officially announces something concrete like their first store opening.
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