Over the past three years, our import tariffs have been increased in stages to protect and support a large number of our manufacturing sub-sectors, thus reversing over 25 years of trade liberalisation undertaken by successive governments. Now, there is a new game in policy town. It’s called production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes. The avowed goal is to boost manufacturing production in chosen sectors, both for domestic and export markets. The scheme got its big launch in April 2020 in the sub-sectors of mobile handsets and specified electronic components, as well as medical devices and active pharmaceutical ingredients. But, it had been “cooking” over the previous 12-18 months, including preparatory policy measures such as increases in Customs duties on mobile handsets. Early signs of success led, earlier this month, to the Cabinet decisions favouring extension of the PLI scheme to 10 new sectors, including automobiles and auto components, advanced electrical batteries, pharmaceutical products, personal computers and laptops, air conditioners, telecom equipment and specified processed food products.
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First Published: Thu, November 26 2020. 01:36 IST