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Aim to make India a hub for semiconductors for the world: PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he was looking forward to practical suggestions from the tech industry and other stakeholders about how one can move towards an India that is a hub for semiconductors for the world in the coming years. At the SemiconIndia Conference 2022, in Bengaluru, Modi said there is a collective aim to establish India as one of the key partners in global semiconductor supply chains.

“We want to work in this direction based on the principle of Hi-tech, high quality and high reliability,” said Modi at semicon India Conference 2022 in Bengaluru. “Semiconductors are playing a critical role in the world in more ways than we can imagine.”

He said a new world order is forming and the country must seize this opportunity. He said India has an appetite for tech and risk-taking. “We have put the odds in your favour as far as possible through a supportive policy environment,” said Modi while addressing the council of ministers, leaders of the electronics and semiconductor industry, investors, academics and members of the diplomatic corps.

Modi said there are 6 reasons for India being an attractive investment destination for semiconductor technologies. The country is building a digital infrastructure to connect over 1.3 billion Indians. This includes India’s financial inclusion, banking and digital payment revolution. He said that the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is the world’s most efficient payment infrastructure today.

“We are using digital technology to transform lives in all sectors of governance from health and welfare to inclusion and empowerment,” said Modi.

India is one of the largest consumers of data per capita and this continues to grow. The government is paving the way for India to lead the next technology revolution. Modi said efforts are being made to connect six hundred thousand villages with broadband. The country is investing in developing capabilities in 5G, IoT (Internet of Things) and clean energy technologies.

“We are working to unleash the next wave of innovation in data, AI (artificial intelligence) and other technologies,” said Modi.

He said India is headed for robust economic growth. The country has the world’s fastest-growing startup ecosystem. New unicorns are coming up every few weeks. India’s own consumption of semiconductors is expected to cross $80 billion by 2026 and $110 billion by 2030.

Modi said the country has undertaken wide-ranging reforms for improving the ease of doing business in India. Last year, India abolished more than 25,000 compliances and gave a push towards auto-renewal of licenses. Similarly, digitization is also bringing speed and transparency to the regulatory framework. “Today, we have one of the most favourable taxation structures in the world,” said Modi.

India is also investing heavily in skilling and training young Indians for the needs of the 21st century. Modi said India has an exceptional semiconductor design talent pool which makes up to 20 per cent of the world’s semiconductor design engineers. Almost all of the top 25 semiconductor design companies have their design or R&D centres in the country.

The country has also undertaken several measures toward transforming the Indian manufacturing sector. “At a time when humanity was fighting a once in a century pandemic, India was not only improving the health of our people but also the health of our economy,” said Modi.

He said the “Production Linked Incentives” schemes offer incentives of over $26 billion in 14 key sectors. Over the next 5 years, the electronics manufacturing sector is expected to see record growth. The country recently announced Semi-con India Programme with a total outlay of over $10 billion dollars. This program aims to provide financial support to companies investing in semiconductors, display manufacturing and the design ecosystems. “We are aware that in order for a semi-conductor ecosystem to flourish, it is necessary to ensure adequate support from the Government,” said Modi.

He said earlier there were so many needless compliances and no ‘ease of doing business. “While the industry works hard, the government must work even harder,” said Modi. “I would like to assure you that we will continue to support the industry in future as well.”

He said the government has taken care to see that the Semi-con India programme addresses various parts of the ecosystem such as semiconductor fab, display fab, design, assembly, test, marking and packaging of semiconductors. Business Standard

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