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Apple to soon open Apple Stores in India as government panel recommends exemption from local sourcing norms

PTI 28 Apr 2016, 11:19:06 IST

New Delhi: A government panel has recommended exempting iPhone and iPad maker Apple from mandatory local sourcing norms, a move which would pave the way for tech giant opening Apple Stores in the country. The company had given a detailed presentationto the committee headed by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek on April 19, on its products, technology, innovations and camera.

“The committee has found that the company’s products are cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art. It has recommended to exempt them from the local sourcing norms,” sources said.

The DIPP will soon send the proposal for final approval to the Finance Ministry. The US-based company has sought approval from the government on setting up single-brand retail stores in the country. As per the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, the government may relax the mandatory local sourcing norms for entities undertaking single-brand retailing of products having state-of-the-art and cutting edge technology and where local sourcing is not possible.

The government had set up a committee to decide whether a product is state-of-the-art and can be eligible for exemption from the mandatory local sourcing applicable for FDI single-brand retail trading. At present, 100 percent FDI is permitted in single-brand retail sector but companies are required to take FIPB permission if the limit exceeds 49 percent.

Also read: Slow networks in India preventing Apple from full bloom: Tim Cook

The Cupertino-based giant sells its products through Apple-owned retail stores in countries like China, Germany, the US, the UK and France. In India though, Apple doesn’t have any wholly-owned stores, and instead sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has also submitted an application to open stores in the country. Chinese technology company LeEco also has sought the government’s nod to open the stores.