A team of senior Apple Inc executives will fly to India from the US next week to present to government officials the company's case for seeking tax benefits and other exemptions to set up manufacturing facilities in the country.
Officials from various departments and ministries are likely to be present for the meeting in New Delhi, a government official said. The Cupertino-based company has sought a host of incentives and concessions, including a 15-year holiday on customs duty and relaxed labelling norms, to start manufacturing in the country, reports The Economic Times.
The departments of industry, revenue and information technology will discuss Apple's demands, the official said. Apple had earlier sought permission to open fully owned retail outlets in India, but sought waiver of compulsory 30-per cent local sourcing norm on the grounds it was bringing cutting-edge technology to India. The finance ministry did not allow the exemption.
Government officials, while open to discussing the tech major's wish list, said it is difficult to make exception for one company when none of its rivals have demanded such concessions.
"No company is special for us … we will have to see what can be offered within the current framework of rules," said a senior official at the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
Apple plans to set up a manufacturing unit in Bengaluru this year where it will assemble its products. The company does not want to source locally and has sought duty to be reduced on components for iPhone, says the ET report.
Several mobile handset makers, including Huawei and Xiaomi from China, manufacture products in India.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook during his visit to India last year had said the country was the next big market for the company. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged Cook to set up factories in the country.
Electronic manufacturing is one of the focus areas of the government's Make in India campaign and companies receive benefits under Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS).
The government also provides incentives for investments in special economic zones.