New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) The government will undertake a detailed evaluation of applications it has received in response to the mega semiconductor scheme and expects to complete the entire process and sign agreements with companies in the next 8-10 months, according to Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw.
Vaishnaw said he is happy with the response that came in within a short period of time, when the ministry invited applications under the Rs 76,000 crore semiconductor programme.
The government is confident of seeing one of the big global players in semiconductor industry coming in the next round, Vaishnaw told PTI in an interview.
He asserted that many other players too are 'seriously evaluating' India's semiconductor programme, and that the ministry is in discussions with several companies.
Eight locations have been shortlisted already, and it is for the investors to take a final call, he said.
'About eight locations are shortlisted already. And of course, the investor has to take the final decision. So getting the entire supply chain in place, the chemicals, all that stuff, clean water, and everything else... we are focusing purely on execution,' he explained.
Asked why the likes of Intel, Samsung, and other global chip giants did not put in an application in the first round, the minister observed that many companies already have investments ongoing, and given that their investment cycles are currently on, they may require more time to evaluate the new scheme thoroughly.
'These companies have lots of investments already going on. So they would definitely like to evaluate our program in bigger detail and may like to take more time,' he said.
Many of the well known names in the semiconductor space are seriously evaluating India's semiconductor scheme, he said, adding, 'I hope we will get one of them in the next round. In fact, I am actually sure.' Vaishnaw did not divulge further details.
Such companies can approach even now but they will be considered in the next round, which will follow once evaluation for the first round of applicants concludes, he said.
The semiconductor scheme is 'good' and doesn't require any further tweaks, he said, adding that the focus is now on execution for the applications received, and on building the talent pipeline.
'These are very complex projects. Evaluation has to be done in a very transparent manner. And very detailed evaluation has to be done. So we are focusing on that. We have kept a target of 8-10 months for closing everything,' the minister said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the government has received five applications for semiconductor and display fabs with total investment to the tune of Rs 1,53,750 crore (USD 20.5 billion).