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To facilitate a better working relationship between the Center and state governments and to explain the potential and opportunities of the government’s electronics-related manufacturing schemes, the central government will hold a dialogue with state government IT ministers on Saturday.
A roundtable titled ‘Conference of State IT Ministers on Digital India’ will be held during the sixth edition of Mobile India Congress 2022 in New Delhi, where the Center has invited State IT Ministers and IT Secretaries to discuss the role of states and the Union. territories can play a role in 5G deployment, business opportunities, skills development needs and interaction with potential start-ups and investors.
“There is an unprecedented opportunity for India in electronics manufacturing, which can only be realized when state governments work closely with the central government,” Electronics and IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar told The Indian Express. “The Center has announced a number of schemes including Manufacturing Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes for electronics and semiconductor manufacturing. At the conference, we will call on national governments to make electronics manufacturing a priority in their industrial and investment strategy.
With the disruption of global value chains led by Covid-19, there has been global talk of moving some electronics and semiconductor manufacturing out of China. Chandrasekhar said it was important for state governments to realize the potential of this transition. “This opportunity is being discussed in the context of a short period of two to three years because if the ‘China plus one strategy’ finds its roots in other countries like Vietnam, it would be very difficult to bring it back to India from there. The transition in global value chains is now underway,” he said.
According to the agenda of the meeting, a copy of which can be seen here, Chandrasekhar and Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan will explain various initiatives of the Center related to electronics and 5G, after which State IT Ministers will give presentations on the digital initiatives of their respective states. Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, IT Secretary Alkesh Sharma and Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman will also address the meeting.
Asked how the conference would explain the political debacle surrounding a joint venture semiconductor plant between mining giant Vedanta and Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn heading to Gujarat at the last minute when the project appeared set to be set up in Maharashtra, Chandrasekhar said that “ the competitive nature of the fight for investment and proposals is now in vogue”.
“There is competition between countries and there is competition between different states in India. India, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. are competing for the same place in the global electronics value chain right now. States that have proactive policies and leadership will be more competitive,” he said. “On Friday, I inaugurated a manufacturing plant of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Pegatron set up under the Electronics PLI scheme in Tamil Nadu, a DMK-ruled state. So any attribution of partisanship is wrong.”
In February this year, Chandrasekhar wrote a letter to all industry ministers of state governments highlighting the large market available for electronics manufacturing, Indian Express has learned.
“My intention is to highlight this important growth opportunity to attract investment and create jobs in your state and the country… We will take tactical and strategic steps to build India’s competitiveness and scale by attracting global electronics manufacturers, moving sub-assemblies and components. ecosystems, building a robust design ecosystem, supporting Indian champions and removing cost disadvantages. This is the time for the rise of India as an electronics hub for the world,” the letter said.