Fearing that the import cost of IT hardware will zoom past the fuel import bill by 2020, the government may seek help from global technology providers and chipmakers for setting up of semiconductor wafer fabrication manufacturing facilities in the country.
A government appointed committee formed to set up semiconductor wafer fabrication manufacturing facilities in the country today meet for the first time and decided to ask private players including foreign chipmakers to come forward and help them.
“Our import bill of IT hardware will soon surpass our fuel import bill,” Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the committee said after the meeting.
“At present , though we export $70 billion of software and services, we import $ 50 billion worth IT hardware,” Pitroda, also the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovation, said. At this rate our import bill on IT hardware will touch $200 billion by 2020, he said.
“This is a cause for concern,” he added.
Semiconductor wafer fabrication plants are used for manufacturing electronic chips that are used in electronic devices and act like heart of a device. At present most of India’s demand for the chips are meet through imports.
"India is a huge market. Our need of electronics is growing day-by-day but we are importing most of the products. We need to reduce our import bill," he added.
He also emphasized that “We have talent in India who design semiconductor but they are doing it for someone else's product."
In mid April, the Cabinet approved setting up high powered committee to set up two semiconductor wafer fabrication plant in the country with investment of Rs 25,000 crore ($ 5 billion).