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Apple’s single brand proposal: Commerce Ministry to discuss with Finance Ministry


New Delhi: To seek more clarity, the Commerce Ministry will discuss the issue of exempting Apple from local sourcing norms with the Finance Ministry, which has rejected the proposal, even as the former is against allowing the iPhone maker to sell refurbished handsets in the country.

The Finance Ministry is against relaxing the 30 per cent domestic sourcing norms, as sought by iPhone and iPad maker Apple as a pre-condition to setting up single-brand retail stores in the country.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said her ministry has taken a line that the 30 per cent local sourcing requirement can be waived off for high-end technology products.

“Specifically for the high-end technology products, we took a line that we would not mind waiving the 30 per cent local sourcing requirement.Now the Finance Ministry has already taken a different position, we will certainly talk to them.

“I want more clarity on that…We will talk and make sure that sooner we will come out with some decision. If there is a concern, I want to address that,” she told reporters here.

Explaining her position on Apple’s proposal, Sitharaman said, the ministry is not talking about changing the rule for manufacturing and “we are just saying let’s be clear on single-brand retailing”.

“Why do we want to have something which is not going to change in any way the parameter in the market and therefore we want to explain it out to the Finance Ministry.”

She added that this is the issue on which the ministry has a genuine concern and therefore, within the government, “I want a consensus to evolve.”

The US-based giant has sought exemption on the ground that it makes state-of-the-art and cutting-edge technology products for which local sourcing is not possible.

A DIPP secretary headed panel had favored waiving the mandatory local sourcing requirement for the US-based firm.

When asked whether any guideline is necessary for clarification on the issue, she said: “Whether there is a guideline requirement itself is what I want to examine. I am talking with Finnace on it”.

On Apple’s proposal to import refurbished phones and sell in India, Sitharaman said, “We would not be in favour of whatever you may call them—used but refashioned, remodeled, updated used goods. We are not in favour of bringing them here.”

When asked the government’s view on the multi-brand retail trading she said: “There is nothing for me to report then what it exists.”


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