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Apple won’t need to submit a fresh application for its own stores in India, says government

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The government has taken a more lenient turn towards the Cupertino giant after initially rejecting its plea for exemption from local sourcing norms. First, it made changes to the norms themselves. And now according to a report in the ET, it has made it clear that Apple won’t have to submit a fresh application for reconsideration under new norms. It has also informed Apple about its changes in local sourcing conditions.

“Apple won’t need to submit a fresh application if it wants to avail of the exemption from sourcing for the three-year period. It will, however, need to convey its request formally to the government,”

said two senior government officials.

Notably, the government relaxed local sourcing norms for single-brand companies working on cutting edge technology. Earlier, these companies had to source 30% of the value of goods from local MSMEs, village and cottage industries, etc.

After relaxations, companies working on cutting edge technology will get an exemption from this rule for first three years. Post that period, they need to follow the rule and maintain 30% sourcing annually.

Apple stores in India

Earlier, a three-member Indian Government panel, headed by DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek had backed Apple’s case of opening its own retail stores in India without meeting local sourcing condition.  However, the government did not give any relaxation raising questions on cutting edge nature of Apple’s technology.

For now, it seems like the government has changed its stance and hence allowing the Cupertino-giant to open its stores.

“The policy is in the public domain for anyone to access. However, a call was made to the company… Apple now needs to tell us if it wants to enter India under the new norms,”

said a senior government official on the condition of anonymity

The government believes that the new rules are enough incentive for Apple to open its own stores in India. At present, the company sells its products through franchise owners.

Direct selling in India could further lead to huge growth in the Indian market for Cupertino. It is particularly crucial because India was the only market where Apple witnessed growth in its sales during last quarter. It witnessed a dip in revenues for the first time in 13 years.

Tim Cook visited India this year and held talks with PM and executives of big companies like Reliance to discuss plans of Apple for India. Consequently, it could soon come up with its own stores in the subcontinent and drive the sales of its products in the country.

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