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Indian Cellular Association Says India Is Worst Country To Do Business

Announcement comes After Report Claims 96% Of Phones in India Would Be Make In India!

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Make in India

In an interesting turn of events, two radically opposite things have happened, over the same stage and concerning the same industry.

While IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) released a report stating that by 2020, 96% of all phones sold in India would be Make in India; Indian Cellular Association (ICA), a powerful lobby of mobile manufacturers and service providers slammed the Government over tax issues and other hurdles.

Both of the claims were made at the same event, in the presence of Government representatives.

What exactly is the reality?

96% Of All Phones In India Would Be Make in India

Artificial intelligence company Enixta, along with IAMAI released a report titled ‘Indian Mobile Phone market: Emerging Opportunities for fulfilling India’s Digital Economy Dream’. According to this report, by 2020, a whopping 96% of all mobile phones sold in India would manufactured in India.

As per the report, during FY 2016-17, total of Rs 94,000 crore worth of mobiles were manufactured in India, which will rise to Rs 1,20,200 by the time FY 2019-20 ends

As of now, India is world’s 2nd largest market for smartphones, in terms of number of users. The report exclaimed with confidence that if two out of three phones sold in India are Make in India, then it will give a tremendous boost to the local economy.

In short, India will automatically become both, one of the world’s largest phone manufacturer and buyer, at the same time.

The report claims that very soon, India will become a global hub for manufacturing battery packs, non-electronic parts, accessories, packaging; even as the manufacturing of main electrical components would be mainly imported, as they will take longer time to get manufactured in the country.

Dr. Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was present at the event, and he said that within ‘5-10’ years, 25% of global economy would be digital.

However, a major embarrassment was about to be unleashed at the event, which made the whole affair more interesting.

India Is Worst Country To Do Business: Indian Cellular Association

During the event, Pankaj Mohindroo, who is the founder and National President of Indian Cellular Association (ICA), made a strong statement, saying that India is the worst country to do business in.

He shocked everyone present there, when he said, “Ease of doing business…there are very few countries we can compete with, obviously from the bottom. Probably, this is the worst country to do business in. That is a very frank statement I want to make..”

Among several pointers raised, prominent was the issue of IGCR (Import of goods at concessional rate of duty for manufacture of excisable goods) processes, which is very ‘cumbersome’ in India.

As per reports, bank guarantees to the tune of Rs 29,000 crore is blocked as manufacturers are required to submit huge deposits for procuring products at discounted rates.

Pankaj said, “There is no trust between customs authorities and taxation authorities. Most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard is that there is target given for revenue collection.”

Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT, who was present at the event, countered Pankaj by saying that India has improved Ease of Doing Business ranking, and things are moving in a positive direction.

Interestingly, Pankaj Mohindroo is also the Chairman of the Special Task Force set up by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, which has been created to transform India’s electronics manufacturing industry, and to boost ‘Make In India’ initiatives.

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