The government of India today said that it has stopped taking new applications for setting up Electronic Manufacturing Clusters under a plan announced five years ago.
A total of 18 electronic manufacturing clusters in 12 states were approved to be set up under the scheme, the government said.
The cluster scheme envisaged the housing of several electronics manufacturing plants within close proximity to each other.
Many mobile manufacturers, for example, took advantage of the design that allowed their suppliers — such as those making chargers and components — to be within close proximity.
So far, said the government, 10 manufacturing units have started production within the approved EMCs and a total of Rs. 3,660 crore has been invested by these ten units.
The total employment at these units at present is 7,400, it added.
Another 90 manufacturing units have been booked by various companies in various clusters, taking the total to 100. These are likely to come up over the next few months and years.
Just yesterday, the Uttar Pradesh government had announced that it is targeting the generation of 3 lakh jobs in the NOIDA-Yamuna Expressway electronic manufacturing cluster by 2022.
The cluster policy was announced by the Congress-led UPA government during the tenure of Anand Sharma as the commerce and industry minister.
The idea behind the scheme was to create state-of-art infrastructure along with common facilities for electronics manufacturing.
At present, India does not carry out any significant electronics manufacturing, though it does carry out some assembly work in places like Noida and Vishakapatanam.
The country is dependent on Japan, South Korea and Taiwan for semi-conductors and on China for components and finished electronic products.
Electronics are expected to become the biggest single item of import for India in the near future and could put severe pressure on the country’s foreign reserves.