Apple sales in India crossed $1 billion last year but Jaitley isn’t impressed
Hurdles continue to plague Apple's strategy for India, even Cook’s visit to India has done very little to help the company.
Apple’s sales in India crossed $1 billion (Rs 6,800 crore) for the first time in the fiscal year gone by.
The Economist reported, “A regulatory filing suggested Apple crossed the $1 billion sales mark in India for the first time last year, albeit out of $234 billion worldwide. He has recently contrasted the firm’s 56% rise in iPhone sales in India with slipping shipments globally. That has much to do with Apple’s tiny share of the smartphone market in India—around 2%, analysts reckon—and saturation elsewhere.”
However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remains nonplussed.
The Economic Times has reported that Jaitley has defended the 30% local sourcing norm requirement for single-brand retailers.
This squarely puts the finance ministry and commerce & industry ministry at loggerheads as Nirmala Sitharaman has been batting for relaxing of the 30% local sourcing norm for Apple.
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, on an earlier occasion said that her ministry has requested the finance ministry to “waive off” the norm for Apple.
"There is a rationale to this condition. When you offer such a large market to a foreign supplier, it's only fair that you expect him to create some jobs in India. Otherwise, we will become a complete nation of traders only," said Jaitley.
This is surely a bad news for Apple as the company has been looking to get an exemption from the norm on the grounds that its products require ‘cutting-edge’ technology that cannot be produced by local vendors in India.
When Jaitley was asked about Sitharaman’s comment he said that there is a view of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and within the parameters of the policy, there is always scope for discussion as to whether it is cutting edge or not. He added that they will continue to discuss the issue.
Jaitley’s recent comments seem like the doors once again being shut for the company after Prime Minister Narendra Modi denied Cook the sale of refurbished iPhones.
Clearly, a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has failed to turn the tide in favour of Apple who is eyeing the Indian market as its global growth engines slow down.
Will India change her stance?