As the government pushes for self reliance in the mobile phone and electronics industry with the clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, data shows that over 45 per cent imports of smartphone components in the last financial year (FY 2019-20) came from China.
Citing data from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Thursday said that the total imports of smartphone components in the country in FY2019-20 were worth Rs 56,039 crore, out of which imports from China were to the tune of Rs 25,441 crore, which amounts to about 45 per cent.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the ministry also said that the total electronic component imports in the country in FY2019-20 was of Rs 1,15,558 crore, out of which the import from China was of Rs 42,983 crore, which amounts to about 37 per cent of the total imports.
On the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the supplies to India, the ministry said that the outbreak in China coincided with the Chinese New Year festivities which extended till mid-February 2020 and Indian electronics companies had already stocked raw material or components till end-February 2020.
Though most factories in China were able to resume operations and achieve around 50 per cent capacity utilization by mid-March 2020, the virus had spread in other parts of the world, including India, by such time and a nation-wide lockdown was imposed on March 23, 2020.
This led to a complete halt in all production activities, including electronics manufacturing, with the exception of a few companies who were manufacturing electronic components for essential medical equipment such as ventilators, the ministry said.
“It was only after the lockdown was lifted that the domestic companies in the electronics sector resumed production and other associated activities. The shutdown of factories for about two months has impacted the domestic electronics manufacturing sector,” it added.
According to the India Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA), there will be production loss of 20-25 per cent in 2020-21, compared to 2019-20, the ministry said in its reply.