India may bring drone production under PLI scheme

By H. P. Ranina

Published: Sun 12 Jun 2022, 12:13 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 Jun 2022, 12:16 AM

Question: Are there opportunities for manufacture of drones? What incentives are sought to be given for this industry?



The Indian government has recognised the importance of drone technology to be used for disaster management, agriculture, tourism, film and entertainment. It is expected that drone technology will play a major role in empowering farmers and modernising the rural sector. Villages are currently benefiting from electrification, road development, optical fiber, and digital technology which have improved agricultural outputs. Every piece of land in the villages is being digitally mapped by using drones and digital property cards are being given to farmers. It is expected that this industry will lead to greater employment. The government has announced that production of drones in India will be brought under the Production-Linked Incentive scheme. Under this scheme, a manufacturer of drones and drone components will be given an incentive of 20 per cent of the value addition made by the company for a period of three years.

The value addition is calculated as annual sales revenue (net of GST) minus the cost of purchase of materials and components (net of GST) and labour expenses. The Government has currently selected 14 companies as beneficiaries of this PLI scheme.

After the Covid pandemic, healthcare has assumed great significance all over the world. I am told that technology is the key driver for making this sector effective and affordable. Is artificial intelligence the answer for this purpose?

The objective of technological advancement is to improve the quality of life and the use of artificial intelligence is playing a critical role. From diagnosis to treatment, from prevention to therapeutics, AI has made things possible which were unachievable before. Prediction of a disease in its early stage has proved to be a blessing because it gives sufficient time to treat the patient. Early diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, or any other ailment is possible by applying AI to gene data or medical imaging/signals. Artificial intelligence systems have been devised to detect heart diseases, genetic diseases, cellular diseases, etc. by processing the electro cardiogram, MRI, PET, or CT scan without any in vitro examinations. Used with IoT (Internet of Things), artificial intelligence is providing better healthcare experience through smart mobile devices which are able to track human body vitals for diseases like Alzheimer’s and are capable of suggesting appropriate therapy for different brain disorders. AI is gaining trust among researchers thereby contributing substantially to research and development.

Is the Reserve Bank of India keeping its exchange reserves mainly in US Dollars? Is not the purchase of gold a better option in the present geopolitical situation?

In its annual report for the financial year 2021-22, the Reserve Bank of India stated that it has diversified its foreign exchange reserves while adhering to the primary objectives of safety and liquidity. It has also scaled up recently introduced foreign currency asset products. These include deposits with different central banks, the Bank of International Settlements, foreign commercial banks, investments in foreign treasury bills and securities, and special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund. As of the week ended 20th May, 2022, the foreign exchange reserves stand at $597.5 billion. As far as gold is concerned, the Reserve Bank has doubled its gold purchase to 65 tonnes during the last financial year and its total gold holdings stand at 760.42 tonnes. This is part of the asset diversification policy with gold performing better as a safe haven asset during the current period of global financial turmoil.

H. P. Ranina is a practicing lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India.


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