Sam Pitroda-led empowered committee formed to promote semiconductor wafer fabrication manufacturing unit on Monday decided to directly contact global chipmakers so that they can set up their units in India.

“In its first meeting, the committee discussed number of issues that will count in setting up wafer fabrication plant. We want interested companies to directly approach us…I am also in touch with some global semiconductor associations,” Mr. Pitroda, who is also Advisor to Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation, told journalists here. Semiconductor wafer fabrication plants are used for manufacturing electronic chips that are used in electronic devices.

“We need to talk to principals who can invest in setting up facility...we will talk to them one-by-one in next few months. We will first focus on attracting investment in commercial market of semiconductor. India is a huge market. Our need of electronics is growing day-by-day but we are importing most of the products. Setting up units will reduce our dependency on exports besides making chips more affordable,” Mr. Pitroda said.

Pointing out that the Centre was focussing on boosting local manufacturing and semi-conductor forms an important form of whole eco-system, Mr. Pitroda said: “Around 30-40 per cent bill of material in an electronic product is for semiconductors. We have talent in India who design semiconductor but they are doing it for someone else's product. Moreover, keeping in mind the growing market for mobile phones and PCs, we have to promote local manufacturing of semiconductor”. In April this year, the Cabinet approved the setting up of a high-power committee to set up two semiconductor wafer fabrication plants with an investment of Rs.25,000 crore. Estimates show that India's demand for electronics products (including telecom) will be $400 billion by 2020.