IPCA demands level playing field for printed circuit industry

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Bangalore, Sep 1 (UNI) The Indian Printed Circuit Association today urged the centre and state governments to provide a better operating environment for the industry which had a huge potential in terms of employment and sustaining the economic growth.

Speaking on the sidelinles of a function here, IPCA Prsident M Anil Kumar said while the market for the industry in the country was presently at USD 16 billion, indigenous production was only a fraction of this figure.

"The industry faces many constraints like government restrictions and infrastrucrual bottlenecks. It takes a long time for the governments to clearing establishment of PCB based industry and this has caused World majors change plans and set up their shops in Vietnam, Korea or China, despite their desire to start operations in India," he said.

The main problem the new players or world majors in PCB industry coming to india faced was the environmental clearance that took a long time.

"Maharashtra is a model state in doing this quickly. But other major states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu takes too long to give eco clearance. Let the officials stick to the rules that is no problem. But unfortunately they are not really worried about any ecological problem but in 'other' things," he felt.

Mr Kumar said India was a major destination for making PCB and semiconductor designs as it had the best talent to do it in the world. Why can't the country be a major producer of such electronic components, he asked.

He said 95 per cent of the designing work took place in Bangalore city.

"Nokia, despite having its production facility in India, imports 99 per cent of the components and only the outer box is made in India. It is time the governments ensure providing a complete spectrum for manufacture of electronic components in the country," he said.

He said India consumed two billion Dollar worth of PCBs but the indigenous production was at just 300 million dollars. China dominated the market accounting for 40 per cent of the Indian imports. The manufacturers of electronic components got very good encourangement in China and India should emulate this, he said.

Mr Kumar said the future for the Indian electronic component industry, mainly the PCB sector, holds exciting promise as a huge amount of foreign investment would be flowing in, in the immediate future. "Only thing is that we must not let go this opportunity. We have 60 medium and large PCB makers in India at present of which 15 are major. This number is going to go up at a phenomenal rate. What we need to do is to provide the world players very good infrastructure and minimum possible government regulations," he said.

He said IPCA in association with its counterpart in Japan would bring out a document on PCB industry standards tomorrow and this would act as the national document.

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