Apple’s plea to waive off local sourcing under study: Minister

New Delhi: The government said on Monday it was discussing US tech giant Apple Inc’s foreign direct investment (FDI) application that seeks exemption from the norm on compulsory local sourcing.

“We took a line that we wouldn’t mind waiving off the local sourcing norm for Apple’s high-end products,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here following a briefing on work done by the ministry over the past two years.

“The finance ministry has taken a different line. We will talk to them,” she said.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) under the finance ministry, which screens FDI applications, has asked the US major to sell at least 30 percent locally sourced goods in case the company plans to retail in India.

Last year, the government exempted foreign retailers selling “state-of-the-art” or “cutting edge technology” from the sourcing norm, which mandates that 30 percent of the value of goods sold in retail should be made in India.

A commerce ministry committee has earlier recommended waiving the sourcing requirement for the iPhone maker.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was on a visit to India earlier this month, and also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.