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Superb response to govt’s semiconductor manufacturing push

Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday welcomed the “superb” response from the industry for the government’s semiconductor manufacturing initiatives.

Speaking at the IT industry grouping Nassom’s strategic review press conference, Vaishnaw also exhorted the industry to “double down” on its efforts.

The Union Cabinet had on December 15 approved a Rs 76,000-crore scheme for promoting semiconductor and display manufacturing which focuses on giving capital support and production-linked incentives to the industry.

The decision had come amid growing realisation of the dependence of the country on imports from countries like China, and also amid disruptions in the global supply chain which have deeply impacted the auto industry.

Vaishnaw’s comments came a day after the minerals and natural resources-focused Vedanta announced a pact with contract manufacturer Foxconn on the semiconductors front. In the past, the Tata Group has also evinced interest in the area.

“Very happy that within such a short time frame, superb response has been received from the semiconductor industry participants,” Vaishnaw said.

He added that there has been an “excellent response” from the industry in terms of fab or display fabrication, compound semiconductor and design ecosystem, which he said will create quality employment opportunities in the country.

“All these are new opportunities and I request industry participants to double down on your efforts, come up with more ideas, suggestions,” he said, stressing that the government is keen for feedback and implementing the suggestions in policy for common good.

Vaishnaw also welcomed the IT industry adding 4.5 lakh new people in FY22 to take the direct employment to 50 lakh.

The USD 227-billion industry’s focus on spreading out to newer centres like Kolkata and Nagpur for setting up offices was also welcomed by the minister.

The IT industry’s resilience in the pandemic is proven by the growth numbers that it has shown, he said, pointing to the 15.5 per cent jump in revenues — the fastest in over a decade.

Affirming the government’s commitment to introduce more reforms, Vaishnaw said the introduction of 5G technology for the telecom sector presents an interesting opportunity to the industry.

He also mentioned the government initiatives on opening up the space technology sector, quantum computing and introducing a central bank digital currency as future areas of growth which the IT industry must seize. PTI

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