Government open to increasing drone PLI scheme benefits for startups

Earlier this month, the central government had announced names of 23 drone startups that were eligible for the Rs. 120 crore benefit currently allotted under the PLI scheme.
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Earlier this month, the government announced 23 tentative beneficiaries for the new drone PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme worth Rs 120 crore. However, with the industry growing at an exponential rate, critics and insiders say that this money will no longer be enough to cover the three-year tenure of the scheme.

First reported by MoneyControl, the central government is reportedly looking to discuss the possibility of increasing the PLI amount threefold as it expects the industry to grow faster than expected. Earlier in 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India is aiming to be a global drone hub by 2030.

The total size of the scheme was set at Rs. 120 crore when announced last year. This was nearly double the turnover of the entire industry in FY 2020-21. However, with the total turnover expected to double every year for the next half-decade, the amount will not be able to match the eligibility criteria of even the 23 companies selected.

Garuda Aerospace CEO Agnishwar Jayaprakash, one of the startups selected by the government under the scheme, had earlier told YourStory, "In FY 2023, Garuda plans to manufacture 25,000 made in India drones, so we fully believe that 120 crore value will increase as the scheme gains more traction and the number of drones manufactured keeps increasing."

"We genuinely feel we could get a significant chunk of the 120 crores that has been allocated, however, we feel the entire industry should grow so we are willing to share the pie equally among other indigenous drone manufacturers," he continued.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti