New Delhi: India may boast of ranking as the third among the top countries for smartphone users, behind only China and the US and is a nation where mobile phones are seeing a boom time.
But a report by industry body Indian Cellular Association with the government brings out some startling facts that exports of mobile phones are estimated to crash to zero in 2015.
This is shocking considering the government is pushing to make India a hub for electronics manufacturing with ‘Make in India’ program.
“Mobile market grows by 32% or to $12 billion (roughly Rs. 76,154 crores) in 2014 but imports take over to occupy three quarters of market. Domestic productions fell by 29%. Exports may crash to zero in 2015,” according to the report.
Exports of mobile phone have been declining after touching a peak of Rs. 12,000 crores in 2012. The export crashed by 70 percent from Rs. 11,850 crores in 2013 to Rs. 2,450 crores in 2014 and further estimated to be nil next year in absence of corrective measures, the report said.
India’s electronic mobile market is dominated by imports and mobile phone exports provided some cushion in burgeoning trade deficit.
In 2013-14, government faced trade deficit of over Rs. 49,041 crores in telecom segment. “Export of electronics is almost negligible. The only sector which has reasonable manufacturing and export was mobile sector. In fact, during 2008-2012 production was nearly matching India’s demand by volume,” ICA told PTI.
At the same time import of mobile handsets in the country is continuously rising. In 2015, when export from India is estimated to be zero, import of mobile phones may be worth Rs. 75,750 crores.
The mobile phone import has increased from Rs. 34,600 crores in 2012 to Rs. 58,550 crores in 2014. “It is extremely unfortunate that the torch bearer of India’s IT and telecom exports has been snuffed out.
We are, however, confident that with the resolve of our Prime Minister to establish India as a global manufacturing hub, this situation will be reversed,” ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo told the news agency.
ICA suggested series of measures including 10-year tax holidays and tweaking of some other taxes to promote mobile manufacturing to achieve 25 percent share in global mobile manufacturing by 2019.
“This can translate into additional jobs creation of more than 1.3 million people to yield an annual industry turnover of Rs. 1.5- 3 lakh crores. The imports can dwindle to just 10 percent of the market as compared to over 60 percent now,” said the report.