ELCINA demands level playing field for local electronic industry

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Bangalore, Dec 7 (UNI) Crying hoarse about the step motherly attitude of the industry to the hardware sector, denying employment opportunities at home, the Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA) today warned policy makers that the situation will turn worse if the domestic electronic industry was not given a level playing field.

The sector was currently in an 'unenvious' situation with imports swarming the domestic market and investments in high value addition manufacturing eluding the industry, ELCINA President A G Rohira told newspersons here today. ''Ironically, an industry which has great potential to generate large scale employment opportunities and wealth for the nation is struggling to survive,'' he said.

He said the industry had to grapple with additional disability factor related costs such as higher interest rates, energy costs and cascading taxes and procedural delays, making imports cheaper and an attractive proposition. These imports currently contribute to 25 per cent of the country's trade deficit, he added.

He regretted that an industry with highest strategic and economic potential was left to wither, while countries such as China were offering sops to their industry, a supportive policy framework and a low cost and efficient infrastructure.

Referring to a streak of multinationals allowed to set up their assembly units within the country, one of the Vice-Presidents of ELCINA Shobana Prakash said the Government should impose certain conditions to encourage domestic production of components.

Referring to the forecast made by the ISA-Frost and Sullivan's report that the market for all electronic products and equipment would touch US Dollars 320 billion by 2015, with a potential for local manufacturing estimated at US Dollars 155 billion, ELCINA in its pre-Budget memorandum to the Centre for the year 2008-09 said this would contribute to 12 per cent of the GDP and provide employment to 21 million people, besides generating a revenue of Rs 2,24,000 crore to the Government through various taxes. In comparison, the present total employment was less than two million and revenue was less than Rs 15,000 crore.

UNI

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