August8 , 2022

pli scheme: Global electronics, hardware makers seek PLI payments

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New Delhi: A slew of global electronics and hardware manufacturers are petitioning the Centre for an early release of payments due to them under the country’s ambitious production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, people directly in the know told ET.

They said delayed payout is leading to uncertainty over future investment plans by top corporations including computer major Dell, iPhone maker Wistron, electronics maker Dixon and Netweb Technologies among others.

In addition to a series of petitions addressed to the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) seeking expedited payment of incentives, representatives of these companies were scheduled to meet with the ministry secretary on Wednesday to press their case, sources added.

Meanwhile, several people within the IT ministry as well as the company executives told ET that the delay is because the nodal agency tasked with review and release of incentives — Industrial Finance Corporation of India () — has not been able to complete the required audit of claims that have been submitted.

“In the last six months alone, the auditors at IFCI have changed three times and every time a new team is appointed, the process has to start from scratch,” said a person directly in the know. “(Beneficiaries) have to explain incremental sales, get the data and other investments verified and then make a case for why they are eligible for the incentive,” a source said.

IFCI and MeitY did not respond to ET’s emailed queries seeking clarity on the reasons for the delay in the incentive payouts.

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Dixon and Wistron did not reply to questions on the matter until press time. A representative of Dell declined to comment on the issue.

Netweb Technologies, one of the companies to qualify for MeitY’s Rs 7,350 crore hardware PLI scheme, said it had “worked overtime to achieve its set targets for the PLI”. The company is “working with the government and its agencies for faster disposal of its submitted claims as it will help the motivation and momentum going,” said Sanjay Lodha, co-founder of Netweb Technologies, in an emailed response.

Officials who confirmed receiving representations from the global manufacturers seeking incentive payouts were unable to quantify the total amount due to be disbursed.

Declining to comment on the reasons for the delay, an official on the condition of anonymity said, “We have received representations from the companies and are trying to work out a solution to get these incentives to them.”

Flagship scheme

PLI is one of the Centre’s flagship schemes to cut down the country’s

on exports and boost domestic manufacturing of several items such as mobile phones, related accessories, servers, routers, switches, telecom products, textile, medical equipment and solar panels among others. The first of these PLI schemes was launched in March 2020. Official data shows that local production of electronics goods increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9% between 2015-16 and 2020-21.

ET had earlier reported that the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), a grouping of electronics and hardware manufacturers, had written to the Prime Minister’s Office on June 23 seeking an “immediate payment” of all incentives and dues payable to the industry under various programmes, including the PLI scheme and other export promotion plans.

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