Provided that only four months have passed since the launch of the Semiconductor Manufacturers Invitation Program to establish a base in India, the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnau told Sumaryendra Parikh in an interview that a complex decision such as setting up a semiconductor manufacturing has a time frame of 2-3 years and with the progress of India’s ambitious scheme, More global names are expected. He also talked about how the government plans to encourage local manufacturers to build capacity in this area. Edited excerpts:
Some of the big names from the semiconductor space are still missing from the program, and they haven’t been implemented yet. Is there a motive to make the scheme more attractive to them?
Almost all global majors have listed India as a primary focus of their business plans. For any such complex and large investment decision, globally, the experience has been that the time frame for these decisions has been two to three years. These majors evaluate, visit, meet, understand what we do, and appreciate our plans. As the program progresses, we should have more names to come. It’s only been four months since the program was launched, so there is tremendous progress.
Apart from global majors, are you exploring to encourage more companies from within the country?
Our program had space for both large and medium-sized companies, along with creating talent in the field. Large companies have completed the application process, medium companies, including many Indian companies, are submitting their applications, many of which are in the advanced stage; It is an open process. Design firms have shown a great response – we have excellent responses from innovators, youth and start-ups, in line with expectations.
Aside from the financial incentives you offered in the semiconductor scheme, could there be other advantages in the future once things get up and running?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said very clearly that this is a plan of more than 20 years. This is something that will be the basis of the economy. For this generation, this is as essential as we considered electricity 20 years ago. So it’s going to be a long-term program, and as we learned from that first program, we’re going to tweak it and move on with it.
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Could there be some restrictions on importing certain types of raw materials or finished products for that?
There is already a policy of giving preference in India. So when we start production, we will adjust that policy accordingly.
There have been reports that a new data protection bill will be drafted. Do you have any comment on that?
The whole process went through a very detailed process. Data protection principles are very clearly laid out in the world. Starting with GDPR as the first ride, there are several countries (which I’ve worked on). Can we establish new principles?