The Indian government could make Apple exempt from its local sourcing laws for 2-3 years, giving the company time to open retail stores before making manufacturing investments in the country, according to a new report.
According to sources familiar with the plans, who have been speaking to Times of India, “discussions have already kicked off between the finance ministry and the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).”
Those talks are said to be centered around a deal that could allow Apple to sell its iPhones and iPads locally, on the basis that it has “cutting-edge technology,” without abiding by the local sourcing laws for the first few years.
This would provide Apple with some time to set up local manufacturing facilities or reach deals with local vendors. Apple has reportedly told the government that it is already purchasing chargers from Indian companies.
This report comes just a week after sources said the Indian government was planning to relax its local sourcing laws for Apple, despite the finance ministry’s rejection of the recommendation to do away with the requirement altogether for Apple.
The ministry has insisted that mandatory sourcing is required for local production and creating jobs in the country.
“When you offer such a large market to a foreign supplier, it’s only fair that you expect him to create some jobs in India,” said finance minister Arun Jaitley. “Otherwise, we will become a complete nation of traders only.”