In a move to boost manufacturing of high tech electronic products in India, government today announced zero customs duty for equipments required for setting up semiconductor (electronic chips) plant in the country would be free from customs duty.

“The electronics policy 2012 is intended to promote manufacture of electronic goods in India. We recognise the pivotal role of semiconductor wafer fabs in the ecosystem of manufacture of electronics.

“I propose to provide appropriate incentives to semiconductor wafer manufacturing facility including zero custom duty for plant and machinery,” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said while presenting the Budget for 2013-14 in Parliament.

He also said a company investing Rs 100 crore or more in plant and machinery across sectors during the period 1-4-2013 to 31-3-2015 will be entitled to deduct an investment allowance of 15 per cent of the investment.

The Ministry of Communications and IT last month had said that it is looking to attract investment of Rs 25,000 crore in the electronics sector from around 100 units to be set—up in 10 manufacturing clusters this year.

The Finance Minister said the investment allowance will be in addition to current rate of depreciation and “there will enormous spill over benefit to small and medium enterprises.”