India is preparing to implement a phased approach to customs duties on telecom components as part of its efforts to build a self-reliant and robust domestic supply chain in the telecommunications sector. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering a proposal to impose an initial 10 percent import duty, followed by an increase to 15 percent by October next year on various telecom components, including packaging items, antennae, WiFi switches, housing items, cables, USB ports, and more.
This initiative falls under the government’s Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP), which aims to stimulate local production and enhance value addition in India’s telecom gear manufacturing industry. The program will focus on incentivising local production of low-value accessories initially and gradually moving towards high-value components.
While the government’s push for self-reliance in the telecom sector is driven by national security concerns and participation in the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, the industry expresses concerns over the lack of an immediate local ecosystem, which could impact supply chains and raise costs. The goal of these duties is to reduce imports and encourage the use of locally available components, ultimately decreasing India’s reliance on global markets for imported materials.