India launched a programme to invest around INR500 billion ($6.6 billion) in schemes to boost domestic device and electronics manufacturing, advancing on its current Make in India initiative.

In a press conference earlier this week, telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad explained the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) programme could position India as a global hub for device production, creating 500,000 jobs and potentially propelling phones and components to the top of India’s export list.

From August five companies selected by the government will be offered a financial incentive covering between 4 per cent and 6 per cent of the value of additional sales of domestically-produced goods for five years, and up to 25 per cent to cover capex on new production facilities or upgrades to current plants.

In a tweet, Prasad said the programme advances India’s capacity to “compete globally” and contribute to the “global economy both in manufacturing and in supply chain”.

In the official presentation, however, he emphasised the move was about inclusion rather than protectionism. He noted India is the “second biggest mobile manufacturing country in the world”, with its share of the global electronics market increasing from 1.3 per cent in 2012 to 3 per cent in 2018.

India began encouraging non-domestic vendors to produce devices locally in 2014, when it unveiled is Make in India push.

Big name vendors have rallied to the call: Samsung began producing devices in the country in 2018 and in January was tipped to be exploring a move around display manufacture, while Apple reportedly commenced production of its iPhone XR there in October 2019.