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Apple seeks lower taxes to start manufacturing in India

Apple wants India to offer low taxes on iPhones that the company wants to manufacture in the country, a person with knowledge of the matter said.The company wrote to the industry ministry in December seeking lower taxes and manufacturing duties asking not to be identified citing rules on speaking to media. The concessions should be continue even after the government rolls out its goods and services tax which is expected to subsume all existing tariffs, the person said.

The Cupertino, California-based manufacturer of iPads and iPhones is keen to kick-start operations in the world’s fastest growing mobile market as growth slows in countries like in China. Apple trails rivals selling cheaper handsets in the $2 trillion Indian economy and producing devices in the country could accelerate the roll out of its iconic retail stores to capture burgeoning demand in the world’s 2nd most populated nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants companies to make products in the country as part of his “Make in India” policy, aimed at reaping the benefits that come from manufacturing facilities and jobs there. His administration doesn’t want technology companies to sell products and take advantage of its vast consumer base without making their own investmentsThe company wants to start discussions with the tax department on future liability on its India earnings, Person said. It has also sought competitive advantages compared to other economies there.

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