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Government clears 75 proposals under M-SIPS for manufacturing
Source: The Economic Times; November 26, 2016

Government has approved 75 proposals involving an investment of Rs 6,038 crore in the first phase under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. "So far, 75 proposals involving phase-1 investment of Rs 6,038 crore have been approved under M-SIPS," P P Chaudhary, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. These projects are across States like Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttarakhand. The 75 proposals together entail a project cost of Rs 17,996.82 crore with a proposed employment of 29,328 people.

Government has approved 75 proposals involving an investment of Rs 6,038 crore in the first phase under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. "So far, 75 proposals involving phase-1 investment of Rs 6,038 crore have been approved under M-SIPS," P P Chaudhary, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. Chaudhary further said that out of the 75 proposals, disbursement of Rs 16.8 crore incentives have been made to three applicants. These are SGS Tekniks Manufacturing (Haryana), Bosch Automotive Electronics India (Karnataka) and Desai Electronics (Maharashtra).

Electronic common facility centre to come up in Vellore
Source: The Hindu; November 26, 2016

The Southern India Electronic Industries Chamber (SIEIC) has brought together 15 Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) companies to establish an Electronic Common Facility Centre (CFC) in Vellore district through the Union Ministry of Electronics. SIEIC, which has more than 35 companies as members, has pooled in the 15 companies situated in places such as Vellore, Chennai and Bengaluru to set up the CFC, S. Nagarajan, president of SIEIC said. “We will be establishing the Electronic CFC at an outlay of Rs. 40 crore in two phases. In phase one, the focus of the centre will be on skill development, specifically targeted at developing electronics hardware manufacturing skill, research and development to promote electronic hardware manufacturing and an innovation centre to deal with engineering and design,” he said. In phase 2, the focus would be on establishing advanced electroplating for electronic industries, he added. “The electronics market is growing. Such an Electronic CFC in a tier-II city like Vellore will enhance electronic-related manufacturing activities surrounding the region and attract new investments towards the electronic sector in this region. Industries will benefit a lot as they can develop prototypes with the help of the CFC,” Mr. Nagarajan said.

Groundbreaking of Electronic Manufacturing Cluster, Sea Food Park today
Source: Prameyanews; November 26, 2016

Chief Minister Naveen Patanik will grace the groundbreaking ceremonies of the proposed Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Infovalley and the planned Sea Food Park at Deras, on the city outskirt. While the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster is estimated to attract an investment of more than Rs 1000 crore and generate direct and indirect employments for more than 1 lakh people, the expected amount of investment at the Sea Food Park is Rs 500 crore and it is likely to provide employments to more than 3 lakh people, both directly and indirectly. The common facilities to be available at the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster are ETP, testing centres, ESDM incubation, training and laboratory, packaging units, mould and tool room, PCB photo typing and dormitory. Similarly, ETP, pre-processing centres, block ice, cold storage, testing laboratory, cold storage, packaging units, polythene unit, laundry unit and dormitory are the common facilities to be available at the Sea Food Park.

Mobile companies seek 10-yr tax holiday, bat for components makers
Source: Business Standard; November 27, 2016

Mobile industry body Indian Cellular Association has sought a 10-year tax holiday to scale up mobile manufacturing to international standards to help India become competitive as against preferred destinations like China and Vietnam. "ICA recommends that the 10-year tax holiday may be granted on a block of 15-20 years on all profits and gains under Section 80 IA of the IT Act, 1961, for manufacturing or rendering of services in or in relation to mobile handsets, parts, component accessories and various core components subject to fulfilment of value addition norms," ICA said in its submission to the finance ministry. The industry body acknowledged that some of the tax measures of the government led to growth of mobile handset manufacturing by approximately 185 per cent in value and 90 per cent in volume in 2015-16 over 2014-15. "Rs 54,000 crore worth mobile handsets were produced during this period from Rs 18,900 crore in 2014-15. In the current financial year, manufacturing is estimated to grow to Rs 94,000 crore, which would be an estimated 75 per cent year-on-year growth," ICA said.

The recommended tax holiday is expected to bring in fresh investments in plant and machinery and other equipment of durable nature. ICA estimates that Rs 1,000 crore of additional investments in plant and machinery are required from every 130 million rise in production capacity.

Bengaluru to call for bids to make city fully Wi-Fi enabled
Source: The Hindu Business line; November 27, 2016

All of Bengaluru is set to go wi-fi enabled shortly. Taking the lead to get over 200 wards across the city wi-fi enabled is Priyank Kharge, Karnataka Minister for IT, BT and Tourism. Two years ago, Bengaluru became the first to offer free Wi-Fi hotspot zones, starting with MG Road in the city’s central business district. “We will soon be floating an RFP (request for proposal) for wi-fi enabling the entire city in over 200 wards, where the central business districts will go for a higher rate and wards like Chikkajala will go for lower rates,” Kharge told BusinessLine. Meanwhile, the Minister last week received Cabinet sanction for ?44 crore on Wednesday, which will be used to set up incubation centres that will serve as innovations hubs in Tier 2 and 3 cities, spurring entrepreneurship which will result in more job creation for locals and de-congest Bengaluru. “Bengaluru is getting very crowded with IT firms. However, we cannot force IT firms to go set up shop in tier 2 and 3 cities without first creating an ecosystem for skills development in those cities. While these smaller cities are home to engineering colleges, the engineers who graduate from these cities are not employable. I got ?44 crore sanctioned by the Cabinet on Wednesday to set up incubation centres in Kalburgi, Belagavi, Shivamogga, Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad and Mangaluru, to ensure that we breed innovation everywhere and provide a good thrust to entrepreneurship, rather than ask Intel to go and set up shop there,” said Kharge.

2016 Make in India Automotive Sector Report released
Source: BHP; November 27, 2016

The Government of India recently released its 2016 Make in India Automotive Sector achievements report to highlight progress made under the Central Government's famed Make in India initiative.

The said report claims that the Indian automotive industry has been on a growth trajectory since the last two years. During this period, sales, production and exports have seen impressive spikes. The report also highlights the country's automotive industry's standings, with respect to the global market; India is the largest tractor manufacturer, 2nd largest two-wheeler manufacturer, 2nd largest bus manufacturer, 5th largest heavy truck manufacturer, 6th largest car manufacturer and 8th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Following are the major takeaways from the detailed report: - The Indian automotive industry was valued at USD 93 billion, at the end of FY 2015-16 - The automotive industry contributes 7.1% to India's overall GDP and nearly 49% to the country's manufacturing GDP (FY 2015-16) - The industry is a major source of employment generation, as it employs over 29 million people in the country (directly and indirectly) - The automotive industry sees an average production of around 24 million vehicles annually

Tamil Nadu setting up defence gear production hub, including for tanks
Source: Defence Aviation Post; November 28, 2016

Tamil Nadu has begun work to set up a defence related component manufacturing cluster aimed at primarily supplying to the battle tank and heavy-duty engine factories in Avadi as a first step and, possibly, export to other nations eventually.

The state’s small and medium industries department had a meeting with industry representatives late last month to discuss land availability .

Confirming the plan to set up a defence manufacturing cluster, Mangath Ram Sharma, chairman and managing director of Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development, said: “The discussions are in the preliminary stage. Right now, talks are on with small units near Ambattur to examine if they are interested in this cluster approach. But, we will soon prepare a technical and financial feasibility report.”

According to a report on the meeting held last month accessed by ET, the 150-acre cluster will have mechanical and electronic component makers along with a testing and data analytics centre.

While Avadi is a natural choice with its heavy vehicle factory and a research centre for combat vehicles, the government is also considering Thervoy Kandigai in Tiruvallur district, where about 130 acres of land held by the government can be repurposed for the defence cluster. Land parcels near Sriperumbudur by the current aerospace park are also probable locations after Avadi.

Self Sufficiency in Defence Manufacturing
Source: Business Standard; November 29, 2016

The requirements of defence equipment for the Indian Armed Forces are met through both indigenous production and imports. During the last two financial years (2014-15 and 2015-16), 108 contracts with total value of Rs.1,12,736.81 crore have been signed for capital procurement of defence equipment, out of which 73 contracts involving a value of Rs.72,303.34 crore were signed with Indian vendors. During 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Defence Acquisition Council has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AON) to 114 capital procurement cases involving an estimated cost of Rs.2,25,022 crore of which 85 cases involving Rs.1,60,362 crore are under the Buy (Indian), Buy & Make (Indian) and Buy & Make categories.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), an R&D Wing of Ministry of Defence, is primarily involved in design and development of strategic, complex and security sensitive systems in the fields of armaments, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, radars, electronic warfare systems, sonars, combat vehicles, combat aircraft, sensors, etc., for the Armed Forces as per their specific Qualitative Requirements. DRDO also interacts with private companies and academia right from inception of the projects. Most of the DRDO developed technologies / systems are equivalent to or better than their counterparts worldwide.

In so far as the self-sufficiency in Defence is concerned, various indigenously designed and developed weapon platforms, viz, Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Akash Missile Systems, Multi Barrel Rocket System Pinaka, MBT Arjun Tanks, Sonars, etc., have been successfully inducted into the Services.

Excise exemption on PoS device manufacturing till March'17
Source: The Economic Times; November 29, 2016

The duty exemption for making PoS devices, which are used for electronic payments at malls and shops, will remain valid till March 31, 2017, government said today.

In order to promote a 'less cash' economy, the government had yesterday removed 12.5 per cent excise duty and 4 per cent SAD (Special Additional Duty) on PoS machines and goods required for their manufacturing.

"To further reduce the cost of such devices and thereby encourage digital payments, the government has exempted such devices from Central Excise Duty. Consequently, these devices will also be exempt from additional duty of customs (commonly known as CVD) and special additional duty of customs (commonly known as SAD)," a finance ministry statement said.

These exemptions will be valid till March 31, 2017.

Since the announcement of demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes on November 8, the government has laid increased emphasis on promoting digital payments.

Point of Sale (PoS) devices are used for cashless transactions for making payments. They can also be used for disbursing cash.

Currently, PoS devices do not attract any basic customs duty. To encourage domestic firms to manufacture such devices, all requisite raw materials have also been exempted from excise duty, and consequently from CVD and SAD.

The exemption from these levies would make domestic PoS devices cheaper by about 16.5 per cent. Almost 90 per cent of them are currently imported.

Structural reforms to fast track manufacturing growth: Report
Source: Money Control; November 30, 2016

Government's 'Make-in-India' initiative and structural reforms will allow the manufacturing sector to accelerate growth over the next few years, according to a CII-BCG report. Also, the government needs to specifically look at Industry 4.0 adoption by creating supportive ecosystem and policies that promote technology adoption, it said here. Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. "Make-in-India initiative and structural reforms will enable Indian manufacturing sector to accelerate growth over the next few years.

"However, we cannot afford to ignore global trends in terms of rise of globally competitive manufacturing nations and profound impact of Industry 4.0 on global manufacturing," Arun Bruce, Partner, BCG said at the CII Manufacturing Summit here. "Apart from existing structural reforms and infrastructure push, the government needs to specifically look at Industry 4.0 adoption by creating supportive ecosystem and policies that promote technology adoption," he said. At the summit, CII and BCG released a report titled 'Next Generation Manufacturing: Winning through Technology & Innovation'.

The report assesses current state of Indian manufacturing sector, looks at the country's rise as global manufacturing hubs, analyses the impact of Industry 4.0 technologies on global as well as Indian manufacturing, and lays down imperatives for the industry as well as government.

How tech giants & startups tackle IoT security challenge
Source: ET Tech; November 30, 2016

Imagine a future where attacks on IoT infrastructure could bring down power supplies of entire cities, tamper the manufacturing process in a factory, stop a Tesla in the middle of the highway, overflow tanks in an oil rig, shut down a ventilator in ICU or even tamper cardiac implants.

While this might be the future nobody wants, there are already signs of heavy duty IoT devices based attacks. Take for example when few months ago, 500,000 IoT devices including the likes of video cameras and digital video recorders connected to the internet were compromised by ‘Mirai’ malware to create a huge network of botnets which hacked the servers of DYN, a web service provider resulting in disruption in services of popular sites like Twitter, Netflix and Amazon alike.

Not only this, a HP labs study of 10 popular IoT devices (thermostat, garage door opener, smart door lock etc) found an average of 25 vulnerabilities on each device. The report even pointed out that 70% of such devices are vulnerable.

Most of the devices are plug-n-play, sell-and-forget. Botnet harvesters identify firmware vulnerability and proceed to locate and exploit all the devices deploying the same firmware and with analysts firms like Gartner predicting the availability of 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020 cyber security becomes extremely critical for IoT devices across consumer and enterprise platforms.

Govt to invest Rs 145cr at the new MSME Technology Centre
Source: Yourstory; November 30, 2016

Union Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Kalraj Mishra on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for MSME Technology Centre at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The technology centre will focus on technological and skilled manpower support to Electronics Systems Design & Manufacturing (ESDM), and automotive electronics sectors of the region.

The programme will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 2,200 crore, with an additional backing from World Bank, which will provide a loan assistance of $200 million.

The Government of Uttar Pradesh has provided 15 acres of land free of cost to build the technology centre in Greater Noida. It will be investing more than Rs 145 crore to create facilities around plant & machinery, development of civil, and associate infrastructure.

The technology centre will also ensure competitiveness of the MSMEs in the ESDM ecosystem by connecting them to the mainstream manufacturing sector across the globe. Apart from technological support, the centre will train nearly 3,000 trainees annually on becoming fully operational.

IT hardware group MAIT seeks duty benefits extension in Budget 2017
Source: ET telecom; November 30, 2016

Hardware group Mait (Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology) Wednesday sought intervention from the finance minister Arun Jaitley to extend duty benefits beyond mobile devices to other IT products to fulfill government’s ambitious vision.

Extension of concessional excise and customs duty benefits to all ITA goods beyond mobile phones and tablets, is crucial to achieve Make in India vision for IT hardware and Digital India goals, and otherwise, it would defeat the government’s own purpose, Mait in a statement said.

In its recommendations to the Finance Ministry, ahead of Union Budget 2017, the Delhi-based body suggested a four-point strategy that it said would enhance India’s appeal as an attractive investment and manufacturing destination worldwide.

Besides, a key demand to extend concessional duty benefits to all ITA goods, including desktops and servers, the group also want harmonisation of IT product across central and state indirect tax jurisdictions, inclusion of CPE goods under the duty differential scheme and the establishment of convergence cell.

Mait represents PC makers such as Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and Acer among others.

Indian staffing industry likely to grow 12 per cent this year
Source: Economic Times; December 1, 2016

India's staffing sector, with estimated total revenue of Rs 27,000 crore, is expected to register 12 per cent this year, says a report.

According to Indian Staffing Federation, an apex body of flexi staffing industry, the sector which comprises 15 leading firms that account for Rs 270 billion in revenues is projected to grow 12 per cent this year and 10 per cent the next year.

"In India, the staffing industry clearly does not have a challenge of addressable market and it is gratifying to witness the rapid growth being shown by each of the organised staffing firms to tap into this opportunity on one hand and enabling rapid job creation on the other," ISF President Rituparna Chakraborty said.

The report noted that the top three firms including two home grown firms TeamLease and Quess along with Swiss headquartered Adecco together account for 20 per cent of the total market share in India.

The five largest staffing companies in India, based on 2015 revenue include TeamLease with a revenue of Rs 1,986.9 crore, Quess Rs 1,959.4 crore, Adecco Rs 1,500 crore, Randstad Rs 1,348.5 crore and Manpower Group Rs 799.1 crore.

Chakraborty further said "demonetisation and implementation of GST in recent times shall definitely be a force multiplier to the growth of staffing in India."

Apple Overtakes Mircomax, Becomes Second Biggest Smartphone Seller In India By Sales Revenues
Source: Huffington Post India; December 1, 2016

Indian smartphone maker Micromax is no longer the second highest seller in the Indian phone market in terms of overall sales revenues. The electronics giant Apple has overtaken Micromax, earning more in smartphone sales in India in the financial year ending in March 2016. Lenovo has already overtaken Micromax to become the second biggest phone seller in terms of number of units sold in India, after combining the sales figures of both Lenovo and its subsidiary brand, Motorola.

According to a report in the Economic Times, Apple's revenues from smartphone sales grew by 54 percent in FY16 to ?9,997.1 crore as compared to ?6472.89 crore last year. Notably, Apple has put a lot of effort in marketing and sales in India. The company has also been pushing to open Apple stores in India with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, visiting India and meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.

While the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are selling well, older models such as the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 have also been major contributors to Apple's revenue figures. The older models are being sold at slashed prices with offers from different sellers.

Apple's brand value helps in the sale of older model phones. A recent report suggested that 1 lakh iPhones were sold in the three days after the 8 November demonetisation announcement.

National manufacturing policy aims to provide 100 million new jobs
Source: The Economic Times; December 1, 2016

The national manufacturing policy aims to provide 100 million jobs, out of which 25 per cent new positions will be hi-tech and the remaining 75 per cent will be medium tech, a senior government official said here.

"The national manufacturing policy aims to provide 100 million jobs, out of which 25 per cent new jobs will be hi-tech and the remaining 75 per cent will be medium tech," Department of Heavy Industry Secretary Girish Shankar said here.

"Currently 80% of the present jobs are low tech and in the capital goods sector alone, we have the challenge of training an additional 5 million into medium and hi-tech skill sets," said the official.

After inaugurating the 10th edition of WIN INDIA trade fair for manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, factory automation and heavy engineering here, Shankar said, for this we have set up the capital goods skill development council which provides the framework and skill standards for these jobs.

"Under the new capital goods scheme, we are going to set up 5 mega skill training centres in different regions of the country which will provide the necessary knowledge content.

"The council enlists and certifies training institutions which are being proposed on an entrepreneurship model, and in some cases DHI will also provide grants to create training capacities. This should create the framework to substantially share the load to train 5 million workers in the next 5 years," Shankar said.

Compiled by IESA Research

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