Samsung Electronics India is considering approaching the government seeking an extension of the deadline under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for telecom networking equipment, so that it can apply after having initially decided not to participate, two senior industry executives said.
The Centre had expressed its dissatisfaction multiple times to the top brass of the Korean giant before the Cabinet reshuffle for not applying in the PLI scheme for telecom equipment, through senior bureaucrats in ministry of electronics and IT, and the telecommunications department.
Samsung had informed the government earlier that it would not participate, since setting up a plant for network equipment was not viable right now in India with just one client, Reliance Jio Infocomm. Samsung has been importing the equipment duty-free through the free trade agreement (FTA) route from South Korea and Vietnam. The deadline for receiving PLI applications closed on July 3. An email sent to Samsung India seeking comment remained unanswered.
“There is pressure on Samsung for not participating in the PLI scheme for telecom network equipment. The government wants Samsung to invest to make India one of its global production hubs. The company is re-evaluating and may request the government if its application can be accepted since the deadline is now over,” said an industry executive.
Another executive said there was similar pressure from the government a couple of years back to restart Samsung’s India television manufacturing unit which it had shut. The company has since reopened the plant and expanded TV production in India through contract manufacturers.
The government wants marquee investors to invest in PLI schemes. In fact, government officials have also expressed their disappointment that Samsung did not apply even for the IT hardware PLI scheme and fears that it may not do so in upcoming ones like that for AC and wearables.