By Arul Louis
United Nations, Jan 15 (IANS) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is coming to the US on Wednesday for his "US-Iran diplomatic efforts," according to sources here.
He plans to first stop in New York and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said a meeting between them was likely.
"My understanding is that the meeting -- if it happens -- the meeting was requested by the Pakistan mission and the Secretary General is always happy to meet visiting foreign ministers," Dujarric said on Tuesday.
Guterres, who was in Portugal for the Lisbon Green Capital initiative and other meetings, is travelling back to New York and the visit will depend on him and Qureshi synchronising their schedules.
A neighbour of Iran, Pakistan is trying to insert itself Teheran-Washington confrontation and take on a mediating role.
Qureshi had met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday and Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud on Monday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in September after a meeting with US President Donald Trump that he had been asked to mediate to bring down the tension.
However, there was no confirmation of the request by the US.
Tensions between Washington and Teheran neared a flashpoint this month after Iranian Major General Qassim Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed in a US missile strike in Iraq and Iran retaliated with rocket attacks on bases in Iraq where US troops are stationed.
However, both sides drew back from the brink and have indicated that there would be no further escalation for the time being.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
By Anjana Das
New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The Union Budget 2020 may unveil a scheme on production linked benefits to attract hi-tech manufacturing in semiconductors, and microprocessors to India, apart from giving tax incentives to solar electric charging infrastructure, computers, and servers for its thrust in manufacturing of global products to reduce imports.
To make it look more attractive to MNCs to opt for domestic electronics manufacturing in India, the Budget may dish out production-linked subsidies for companies involved in semiconductor fabrication. This is aimed at inviting global semiconductor, and microprocessor companies to set up plants in India.
Earlier also, the government had announced schemes for setting up semiconductor plants in the country.
The National Policy for Electronics, 2019, argues for special support for developing core competencies in the strategic sub-sectors like fabless chip design industry.
The government could provide tax incentives to high-tech manufacturing plants in the fields of solar photovoltaic cells, lithium storage batteries, solar electric charging infrastructure, computers, servers, and laptops.
For 'Make in India', there may be investment-linked income tax exemptions under Section 35AD of the Income Tax Act and other indirect tax benefits.
Many global semiconductor companies such as ARM, Qualcomm, Intel, Cadence and Texas Instruments have set up design and software development infrastructure here but per se, chip manufacturing plants are still elusive for India.
Intel, AMD and ARM for microprocessors, and Qualcomm, Samsung and MediaTek are the names in this segment globally who also cater to the telecom segment and their chips are imported by Indian companies.
The Indian requirement for chips are completely met through imports. The Indian semiconductor component market is expected to be worth $32.35 billion by 2025, growing at a compunded annual growth rate of 10.1 per cent between 2018 and 2025, according to the Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), an industry body.
China, on the contrary, is building a homegrown chip programme, eyeing adoption of local semiconductors in 70 per cent of its products by 2025, up from 16 per cent currently.
In last few years, the Indian government has launched a slew of schemes to boost local manufacturing of electronic goods. Total production of electronic goods in value terms more than doubled from $31.2 billion in FY15 to $65.5 billion in FY19, led by mobile phones, shows data from the Reserve Bank of India's report.
(Anjana Das can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)