Aviation Ministry invites applications for PLI scheme for drones & drone components

he Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has opened the application window for those manufacturers of drones and drone components, who may have crossed the PLIeligibility threshold for the full financial year (1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022).

Aviation Ministry invites applications for PLI scheme for drones & drone components
representative image/Aviation Ministry invites applications for PLI scheme for drones & drone components

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has opened the application window for those manufacturers of drones and drone components, who may have crossed the PLIeligibility threshold for the full financial year (1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022). Such manufacturers may submit the application form at https://www.civilaviation.gov.in/application-pli-scheme. 

The deadline for submitting the application form is 23.59 hours on 20th May 2022.The final list of PLI beneficiaries is expected to be released by 30th June 2022 after detailed scrutiny of their financial results and other specified documents. 

Earlier on 20th April 2022, MoCA has published a provisional list of 14 PLI beneficiaries based on the financial results submitted by PLI applicants for the ten-month period (1st April 2021 to 31st January 2022).These include five drone manufacturers and nine drone component manufacturers.

The eligibility criteria for the PLI scheme for drones and drone components includes an annual sales turnover of INR 2 crore for drone companies and INR 50 lacs for drone components manufacturers; and value addition of over 40% of sales turnover.

The PLI scheme for drones and drone components was notified on 30th September 2021. Under the scheme, a total incentive of INR 120 crore is spread over three financial year which is nearly double the combined turnover of all domestic drone manufacturers in FY 2020-21. The PLI rate is 20% of the value addition which is one of the highest among other PLI scheme. 

Apart from the PLIScheme, Government of India has carried series of reforms to make India a global drone hub by 2030. This includes notification of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021; publishing of Drone Airspace Map 2021 which opens nearly 90% of Indian airspace as a green zone, UAS Traffic Management (UTM) policy framework 2021; Drone Certification Scheme 2022 which makes it easier for drone manufacturers to obtain a type certificate; Drone Import Policy, 2022 which bans import of foreign-made drones; and the Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022 which abolishes the requirement of a drone pilot license for drone operations.