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Mobile industry growth in India faces uncertainty due to enforcement actions

Mobile phone manufacturing in value terms has jumped 21-fold to Rs 4.1 lakh crore in India in the last 10 years with government policy push but actions of enforcement agencies are bringing unpredictability which needs to be checked, a top official of mobile phone makers industry body ICEA said.

While speaking about the achievement of the mobile industry in the last 10 years, India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said that the next phase of growth in the country will come from exports and there is a need to build domestic champions in the sector as part of government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) plan.

‘Unpredictability in ease of doing business arising out of some actions of enforcement agencies needs to be checked. We need to build an environment of trust between enforcement agencies and the industry,’ Mohindroo said.

He was speaking at an outreach programme organised by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Monday evening.

The Enforcement Directorate has filed a case against former managing director of Lava Hari Om Rai in an alleged Rs 62,000 crore money laundering case involving Chinese smartphone maker Vivo.

The Delhi Police on Friday arrested a man at AIIMS for allegedly impersonating Rai who was out on bail on grounds of medical reason.

The ED informed the High Court on Thursday about the alleged impersonation and cheating, following which Rai was refused extension of bail and was sent to Tihar jail under judicial custody.

Lava is the only Indian mobile company left in the market.

On Mohindroo’s remarks, Chandrasekhar declined to comment on the matter related to the ED as it is sub-judice.

He, however, said there is a general request from the manufacturing industry to make things simpler, especially as India’s manufacturing economy pivots to being export-led.

‘They want things to become simpler and that is something that the Prime Minister has committed to,’ the minister said.

Mohindroo said barring a few issues like cost of capital etc growth in the mobile industry has been unprecedented in the last 10 years and more investors are coming in with in-time push given by the government through various schemes.

‘Mobile phone production surged from Rs 18,900 crore in 2014-15 to an estimated Rs 4,10,000 crore in FY’24, registering an increase of 2000 per cent. In value terms the mobile phone manufacturing has jumped 21-fold to Rs 4.1 lakh crore in India in the last 10 years as government policy measures like PLI played a critical role in attracting global players to boost local production,’ he said.

According to ICEA, whose members include Apple, Foxconn, Dixon Technologies, etc, mobile phone industry exports have grown by 7,500 per cent in the last decade. PTI

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