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India to consider Apple's proposal with an 'open mind': IT minister

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Officials from various departments and ministries are likely to be present for the meeting in New Delhi. "Our import duty is high", one of them said.

"Normally, similar dispensation has to be given to others similarly placed", hetold ET.

"With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society, Qualcomm is committed to offering support to help India's ecosystem to grow and cater to increasing consumer choices", said John Han, senior vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Technology Licensing. The issue will be looked at in detail at a high-level meeting between Apple executives and state officials set to take place next week.

The request is being considered by threee government departments- Revenue, under Ministry of Finance; Industry, under Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Currently, it has no wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors.The finance ministry in May previous year had rejected relaxing 30% domestic sourcing norms as sought by the company as a pre-condition of bringing in FDI to set up single-brand retail stores in the country. Sources mentioned by the same report suggest that Apple has even requested for several tax and other incentives, including long-term duty exemptions, to enter the manufacturing sector in India.

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"We will very much like Apple to come and have a base in India", Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters on Wednesday.

Where will the manufacturing unit be set up?

"We would very much like Apple to come and have a base in India, they have a base in China, China is under stress". A team of the company will give a presentation to senior officials here on January 25. India is already home to a crowded mobile phones market, with Chinese firms Huawei and Xiaomi among some 42 competing handset makers.

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