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India to consider Apple’s demands with open mind

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The latest chapter in the push-and-pull between Apple and the Indian government has seen the revelation of a letter sent by the former to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2016. The dispatch contains a list of 7 demands which it thinks are necessary for iPhone production to begin in the nation.

As per Reuters, Apple wants the administration to make the environment attractive in order for it to manufacture iPhones for India and export. It also states that high import taxes on handsets could lead to retaliation from trading blocs. It believes this would in turn increase the price of devices made in the subcontinent.

Intriguingly, Apple’s letter asked for a 15-year duty exemption on raw materials for components, capital equipment, and manufacturing for domestic and export markets. The firm further seeks a change in the rules related to the import of smartphones. It wants to bring in defective iPhones to fix and then send them overseas again.

Also See: Apple hikes App Store prices in the UK, India

Apple argues that this is crucial to support and repair older iPhone models. However, the current law dictates that such imports can only be allowed if the handsets are no more than 3 years old. Moreover, it wants India to speed up its customs inspections, asserting that the process should not require more than 30 minutes to complete.

Officials have apparently balked at Apple’s demands, labeling them excessive and unfair on the OEMs already present in India. One even said that the company is coming to the country because it’s a lucrative market and not as a favor being done to the nation.

India is keen on having Apple producing its iPhones, as evidenced by IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s recent statement where he said that the subcontinent would keep an open mind in negotiations. The departments of finance, IT and electronics, and industry are set to hammer the topic out with Apple executives at a meeting on January 25.