Amidst growing unease about India losing lakhs of jobs over the next few years due to automation and US companies cutting down on outsourcing since Donald Trump took over the reins, a new report claims that Apple is being asked to invest in creating employment opportunities on these shores in exchange of tax breaks.
While the company has already started making iPhone SE units at its Wistron plant in Bengaluru, it’s still negotiating with the Modi government over the possibility of expanding its manufacturing plans. Apple has been seeking tax breaks, lower custom duties on imports and more lenient local sourcing rules for this purpose.
It would be a win-win situation for Apple and consumers in general if these requests were met. The company will be able to establish a stronger foothold in one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets, while users can look forward to paying much less for the iPhone since import duties would not be applicable.
But the Modi government is looking at it from a long-term perspective in order to solve the burgeoning job crisis which is only set to get worse in the future. According to an unnamed source, Apple is being ordered to present the details of how much it intends to pour into India and the potential number of employment opportunities it can create.
Although the government is keen to rope in foreign investment under its ‘Make in India’ scheme, it is not open to the idea of offering tax concessions tailored for individual companies’ needs. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple responds to this.