'Govt asks Chinese firms to raise exports from India'

New Delhi: The government has asked Chinese mobile companies to increase their exports from India and there is no proposal to ban the sale of handsets below Rs 12,000 made by such firms, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Monday.

The Minister of State for Electronics and IT also said that Indian companies also have a role to play in the country's electronic ecosystem but it does not mean exclusion of foreign brands.

"Only issue that we have raised and done very transparently with some of the Chinese brands is that we have said that our expectation is that they will do more exports.

"Their supply chain, specially components supply chain, need to be more transparent and much more open... (On) the other narrative about crowding them out from a particular segment (sub-Rs 12,000) of the market, we don't have any proposal and I am not sure where it came from," Chandrasekhar said.

He was responding to a question on a reported plan of the government to bar Chinese companies from selling sub-Rs 12,000 mobile phones.

While releasing a report prepared by ICRIER in collaboration with industry body ICEA on increasing domestic value addition, the minister said the government is looking to reach $300 billion-electronics production and exports of $120 billion by 2025-26.

The present production is estimated to be around $76 billion.

"In our scheme of things, there is space for Indian brands. In our electronics supply chain, Indian brands, Indian entrepreneurs also have a role to play.

"It is not about exclusion of foreign suppliers or foreign brands but we believe that it is our policy and the government of India's obligatory duty to build Indian brands," the minister said.

He also said that wherever the government feels there is crowding out of Indian brands due to unfair trade practices, "we would like to intervene and make sure that those issues are resolved".

Chandrasekhar said the industry has submitted its report on requirements for increasing domestic value addition which will be considered for taking appropriate steps.

"The postulation in this report is that we must export aggressively to reach the scale, in addition to the domestic production, supply and consumption. Exports are very important to get the scale of other economies that are competing with us. That export will create a knockdown effect of creating the supply chain investments that in turn will increase value addition," he added.

The report has suggested several measures to increase exports, including promotion of bilateral and regional free trade agreements, ease of doing business and lowering of regulatory burden and cost of transportation.

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