The Indian government is considering exemption sought by Apple for setting up iPhone assembly units, reports Reuters. The announcement comes after the government approved Chinese smartphone maker Oppo's proposal to set up its own single-branded retail stores in the country.
Ramesh Abhishek, the top bureaucrat in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion confirmed that the government is looking into Apple's request for exemption. The department is part of India's commerce and industry ministry. Apple is currently assembling iPhone SE, its cheapest iPhone here, with the help of contract manufacturer Wistron in Bengaluru. However, it wants to expand its local operations by setting up dedicated base for manufacturing in collaboration with Foxconn.
According to reports, Apple is seeking to expand its manufacturing operations and also set up its own retail stores. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is asking the government to wave off the local sourcing norms for setting up its own retail stores and is additionally seeking financial concessions as well. Apple is said to have asked the government for a 15-year tax exemption on import of components and other equipments. Apple executives have met top government officials during the past year to seek concessions and details its local manufacturing plans.
The government has already relaxed the rules for setting up single-brand retail channels in the country. While single-brand store setup demands 30 percent loca; sourcing, technology companies can operate their stores for three years before meeting the norm. However, Apple wants more than relaxation and is demanding full exemption from this norm.
It is not evidently clear whether Apple will soon have its stores, also called as Town Square, in the country. One thing is clear, Apple might soon get the exemptiom it has been demanding from the government.