Will incentives boost jobs and investment in India’s drone sector?

Will incentives boost jobs and investment in India’s drone sector?

After last year’s announcement of plans for a scheme to support drone manufacture, five drone manufacturers and nine drone component manufacturers have now been selected as initial beneficiaries of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to boost drone manufacturing in India, the aviation ministry has announced.

The list of beneficiaries is likely to be expanded. The final list of PLI beneficiaries is expected to be released by 30 June.

Under the PLI scheme, announced in September last year, the incentive for a manufacturer of drones and drone components will be 20 per cent of the “value addition” made by the company during the next three years.

On March 10 the aviation ministry invited applications from the drone industry for the PLI scheme with an allocation of Rs120 crore (about US$15.8 million) spread over three financial years.

The ministry said the eligibility criteria for the PLI scheme includes an annual sales turnover of Rs2 crore (about $262,538) for drone companies and Rs50 lakh (US$65,633) for drone components manufacturers, and value addition of over 40 per cent of sales turnover.

Among the drone components covered by the PLI scheme are such communications-related items as radio frequency, transponders, satellite-based items, cameras, sensors, detect and avoid systems, emergency recovery systems and trackers.

With the encouragement of the new rules and the incentive scheme, the government is hopeful of major investment in the drone sector and the generation of more than 10,000 direct jobs over the next three years.


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