The government on Wednesday approved Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the drone industry to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities. a move that will bring fresh investments and employment. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday announced a PLI scheme for the drone industry that offers an incentive of 20 per cent of the value addition made by a manufacturer of drones and drone components. The PLI scheme for the drones and drone components industry addresses the strategic, tactical and operational uses of this revolutionary technology, the government said in a press release.
A product specific PLI scheme for drones with clear revenue targets and focus on domestic value addition is key to building capacity and making these key drivers of India’s growth strategy, Union Cabinet said in a statement, adding that the PLI scheme will, over a period of three years, lead to investments worth Rs 5,000 crore, increase in eligible sales of Rs 1,500 crore and create additional employment of about 10,000 jobs.
Industry experts are excited about the move. Shreya Suri, partner, Induslaw said the Government’s announcement for approving a PLI scheme for the drone industry appears to be an attempt to promote India’s drone manufacturing and export capabilities, and for the development of home-grown technologies.
“This decision is in line with the more relaxed policy outlook of the Government towards the drone industry, evident from the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 that were notified recently," she said.
“With these financial incentives, along with the lesser compliance burden through the revised rules, the Government appears to be moving in an overall positive direction to make the drones industry more accessible for various use-cases, bring new technology and investments into India for manufacturing of drones, and allow India to become an export centre for drones and drone-based technology globally," she added.
The PLI Scheme for Automobile Industry and Drone Industry is part of the overall announcement of PLI Schemes for 13 sectors made earlier during the Union Budget 2021-22, with an outlay of ₹ 1.97 lakh crore. With the announcement of PLI Schemes for 13 sectors, minimum additional production in India is expected to be around Rs 37.5 lakh crore over 5 years and minimum expected additional employment over 5 years is nearly 1 crore.
The recently issued new Drone Rules 2021 make for a major boost to the private and commercial drone ownership ecosystem of India, News18 had earlier reported.
The new Drone Rules 2021 have largely liberalised what was so far a tightly regulated space, and show clear intent from the government to have more individuals own and operate drones for private and commercial usage in India. The key takeaways of the new Drone Rules 2021 include reducing the number of hoops one was previously required to jump through in order to obtain a permission, and the new rules is both easing the procedure of obtaining a licence, and also the fees involved in doing so.
To begin with, the Drone Rules 2021 are abolishing a number of approvals that were previously mandated before an individual could apply for a drone licence. As a result, an applicant for a drone licence will no longer need to supply a drone’s unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance and certificate of maintenance before applying for a permission and licence to own and operate a drone in the Indian airspace.
The new Drone Rules 2021 a;sp crucially claim to ease the entire drone application process. To this end, the new Rules clarify that the total number of forms and permissions required to obtain a drone licence in India are being reduced from 25 to five. Applicants will not be required to obtain additional security clearances prior to drone registration and issuance of a drone pilot’s licence. The new Rules also claim that the permission fee for a drone will be reduced to “nominal levels”, going forward.