11 crore mobile handsets being locally made now: Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
Rationalization of duty structure for making mobile phones has led to doubling of the number of phones made in India, from 5.4 crore in 2014-15 to 11 crore units in 2015-16, telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday.

The incentives offered in the last budget has encouraged local manufacturing, with 16 new plants set up for making mobile phones locally during the financial year.

“Due to the initiatives taken up in the last budget, especially duty rationalisation, we have notice a remarkable acceleration in field of electronics manufacturing,” Prasad said Monday, while appreciating the new reforms announced in the Union Budget 2016-17.

The minister added that electronics manufacturing proposals worth Rs 1,290,294 crore were received till date, up from Rs 11,800 crore in June 2014, when the government came to power. “Proposals worth Rs 18,000 crore have been approved,” the minister said.

Welcoming the new proposal of duty advantage of 8.5% to routers, broadband modems and set top boxes, digital video recorder and CCTV cameras among other products in the Union Budget, the minister said the move will give a boost to the telecom sector, which uses many of these products.

Domestic value addition in mobile phones, battery, wired headsets, speakers would enjoy a duty advantage of 10.5% compared to imported goods, the minister added.

“We’re happy to note that FM has announced moving a legislation to give statuary backing to Aadhar, for delivery of services, subsidies, benefits coming out of Consolidated Fund of India,” he said.

On IT and IT enabled services, the minister said that India’s share in the global IT outsourcing has increased to 56%, while the services export has crossed $100 billion in the last 20 months.

Separately, about 1000 ATMs will be installed by March 2016, while 576 ATMs have already been installed. India Post has overtaken the State Bank of India to become the largest core banking network with 18,231 branches, the minister added