Centre examining FDI norms waiver for Apple

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said her ministry was in talks with the Finance Ministry on Apple Inc.’s proposal seeking exemption from 30 per cent local sourcing norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) in single brand retail.

Ms. Sitharaman said the discussions would be on whether there is a need for separate guidelines on local sourcing pertaining to the waiver on ‘cutting-edge technology’ and what constitutes such high-end technology.

However, these debates would not be stretched to other sectors such as fashion.

The minister also said she was not in favour of relaxing rules for Apple to sell refurbished second-hand phones in India.

Earlier, a government panel led by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary suggested that Apple can be exempted from local sourcing rules as a pre-condition to set up single brand retail stores in India since the electronic products maker’s proposal met the definition of ‘cutting-edge technology.’

Apple is learnt to have sought the waiver on the ground that it manufactures ‘cutting-edge technology’ items for which it is not possible to source as much from India.

The Finance Ministry then had turned down the government panel’s decision.

Tax holiday

On measures to boost start-ups, Ms. Sitharaman said her ministry had suggested to the Finance Ministry to increase the tax holiday for start-ups from three to seven years.

Government is not in favour of Apple selling refurbished second-hand phones in India