Import duty hike on electronic components to raise production cost in India: Ericsson

Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson on Wednesday said the hike in import duty on electronic components will lead to a rise in production cost of equipment in India, and the company has sought reversal of the duties announced in the Budget 2021-22. During the launch of the company’s annual report, Ericsson India Head and Chief of Network Solutions for Market Area (Southeast Asia, Oceania and India) Nitin Bansal said the company is still evaluating the government’s production-linked incentive scheme, and there is no decision as of now to invest and participate in the scheme.

“This is definitely a challenge as in it will increase cost of production in India,” Bansal said in response to a question on the impact of duty hike on components and motherboards in India announced in this year’s Budget. He said the company, through the industry association, has asked for reversal of the import duty hike announced in the Budget.

According to industry body Broadband India Forum, the hike on components used in telecom networks can lead to increase in equipment price by 5-6 per cent. Bansal said the government’s PLI scheme for the telecom sector is a good initiative. However, the company is yet to take a call on whether it will participate in the scheme or not, he said.

During the event, Ericsson released its annual report that projects that India is likely to have 330 million 5G subscribers by 2026, and the monthly data consumption per smartphone is expected to grow over three-fold to 40 gigabytes per smartphone.

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Bansal said that according to information available with the company, the spectrum auction for 5G is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022, and the roll-out of services will start thereafter in the second quarter.



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