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Semiconductor mission launched by IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launched the India Semiconductor Mission on Wednesday. Speaking to journalists, Vaishnaw said companies which are interested in tapping the Rs 76,000-crore incentives earmarked by the Centre for development of semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystem in India can begin applying for the same from January 1.

“The schemes have been notified and uploaded on the website. A portal for the same has been prepared for receiving the applications. Come January 1, 2022, onwards, we will start receiving the applications,” Vaishnaw said.

The India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) is a specialised and independent business division within the Digital India Corporation. It has been set up with the aim to build a vibrant semiconductor and display ecosystem to enable India’s emergence as a global hub for electronics manufacturing and design.

The mission is authorised to negotiate with the applicants under the semiconductor fab scheme and the display fab scheme. This mission has been given the autonomy to decide the appropriate technology mix, applications, node generation, capacity, among others and propose the structure and quantum of fiscal support for the selected applicants. A fab is short for fabrication plant where raw silicon wafers are processed and turned into integrated circuits.

These schemes were among the four notified by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on December 21. A fiscal support of up to 50 per cent of the project cost has been approved for setting up certain variants of silicon-based semiconductor fab in India. According to the policy notification, the financial support is for six years from the date of approval. Semiconductor fabs set up in India will also be eligible for a purchase preference in procurement of electronic products by the government.

A support of up to Rs 12,000 crores per fab has been earmarked under the scheme for setting up display fabs in India. This scheme aims at attracting large investments in manufacturing TFT LCD or AMOLED-based display panels.

A Scheme for Setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors (including MEMS) Fabs and Semiconductor ATMP / OSAT facilities in the country extends fiscal support of 30 per cent of capital expenditure to approved units. It is expected that at least 15 such units of Compound Semiconductors and Semiconductor Packaging are expected to be established under this scheme.

A Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme offers an incentive of up to 50 per cent of eligible expenditure and product deployment linked incentive of 4-6 per cent on net sales for five years.

The Union Cabinet had approved these schemes on December 15. According to official estimates, the Centre has committed a support of Rs 2.30 trillion for positioning India as a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Business Standard

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