India’s biggest electronic cluster project set to take off at Bhosari, Pune
The project is part of the central government’s electronic manufacturing clusters scheme of 2012 to enable India become a global player in electronics and also to support creation of world-class infrastructure in electronics system and design manufacturing.pune Updated: Mar 23, 2018 21:40 IST
After receiving an ‘in principle’ approval in 2015, the much-awaited Brownfield electronic cluster common facility centre project being established by the MCCIA (Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture) is set to take off within the next three months.
Wg Cdr (retd) Shalak Gandhi, managing director (MD) designate of MCCIA Electronic Cluster Foundation (MECF), told Hindustan Times on Friday that work on the Rs 67 crores project has commenced and actual infrastructure work at Bhosari will begin in the coming quarter.
Of the three Brownfield electronic cluster projects approved by the central government, MECF in Pune is the largest with Rs 50 crores central aid. The other two Brownfield clusters are at Mysore (Rs 21 crores) and Aurangabad (Rs 20.5 crores) ‘grant in aid’ by the Centre.
The project is part of the central government’s electronic manufacturing clusters scheme of 2012 to enable India become a global player in electronics and also to support creation of world-class infrastructure in electronics system and design manufacturing.
According to informed estimates, by 2020, the electronic import bill is expected to cross the oil imports and demand for electronic hardware is projected to be USD 400 billion by 2020 with 75% of it expected to be met by imports.
The central government’s National Policy on Electronics (NPE) aims to bridge this demand supply gap and a part of the policy is to provide basic infrastructure to electronics manufacturing companies and set up testing and R&D facilities of international standards.
So far, 69 electronic cluster zones have been notified in the country of which nine cluster zones are in Maharashtra. Pune was declared a Brownfield electronic cluster in December 2013.
Eager to pursue this project, the MCCIA set up MECF as a chief promoter. Ajay Bhagwat of Renu Electronics was designated as chairman, and Wg Cdr (retd) Gandhi as MD designate.
MCCIA president Pramod Chaudhary said, “This cluster is very important to Pune. Currently there are small companies that operate from Bhosari and Satara road. With this cluster, electronic companies can utilise the services that this cluster will offer. It will boost domestic production, reduce imports and become an export hub. MCCIA has offered 27,000 sq ft of its land at Bhosari towards this initiative.”
Gandhi said that the cluster aims to improve the infrastructure in the region, provide a common facility centre (CFC) and give a boost to the electronic ecosystem of this region.
The MCCIA has about 250 of the 800 odd SMEs and large electronic companies in and around Pune as its members. “We held several meetings with our members and experts in electronics industries to identify what they would expect from such a cluster. Taking into account views of all our members, we drafted the basic requirements and test facilities that such a cluster should meet,” Gandhi said.
In December 2014, the MECF applied for a Brownfield electronic systems and design manufacturing cluster with CFC which was ‘in principle’ approved by the central government. The MECF submitted a final detailed project report in 2016 and the ministry of electronics and information technology ( MeitY) gave its final approval in December 2017.
Highlights of electronic cluster CFC
About Rs 55 crores of the allocated amount will be spent on electronic test equipment. “Keeping in mind the recommendations made by our members, we will develop five verticals for the electronic cluster. The first is a design centre for hardware and software. Second is for testing and measurement. Third, for a surface mounted technology (SMT) line, fourth, an electromagnetic interference (EMI)/electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and environmental chamber, and lastly a testing and certification facility. Thus, facilities required by an electronics company, including designing, prototyping, testing as well as BIS/CE/UL certification and accreditation will be available under one roof. The CFC is expected to help SMEs and exports and the defence industry’s Make in India initiative,” said Wg Cdr (retd) Shalak Gandhi.
While the central government will extend a ‘grant in aid’ of Rs 50 crores, the Maharashtra government has also accorded Rs 6.7 crore as financial assistance under its Electronics Policy 2016. About 15% of the amount (Rs 10.3 crores) will be raised from industry contribution, of which 10% had to be deposited in the bank before the government accorded its final approval.
“About 15 to 20 companies big and small and MCCIA as the chief promoter of this cluster have deposited this Rs 1.03 crore (10%) in the bank,” Wg Cdr (retd) Shalak Gandhi said. The MECF aims to complete the cluster in two years.