RattanIndia Enterprises drone arm NeoSky India expects benefits of the government's production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components to come in soon.
"Incentives from the PLI scheme will start following in very soon. Our expectations are that in the next few months, the government will release funds under the PLI scheme," Neosky's chief executive officer Sarath Chandra Gudlavalleti said.
Throttle Aerospace Systems, a subsidiary of NeoSky India, had been shortlisted for the government's PLI scheme in July.
Under the scheme, the incentive for a manufacturer of drones and drone components will be 20 percent of the “value addition” made by the company during the next three years.
The value addition is calculated as the annual sales revenue from drones and drone components (net of GST) minus the purchase cost (net of GST) of drone and drone components.
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The Ministry of Civil Aviation had on May 5 invited applications from the drone industry for the PLI scheme, for manufacturers who had missed the eligibility criteria in 2020-21 but met the criteria in 2021-22.
The eligibility criteria for the PLI scheme include an annual sales turnover of Rs 2 crore for drone companies and Rs 50 lakh for drone components manufacturers, and value addition of over 40 percent of sales turnover.
Gudlavalleti added that in the last year, the drone industry in India has grown exponentially due to the government's move to ease drone operating norms in the country as well as announcing a PLI scheme.
Neosky also unveiled its anti-drone machine 'Defender' today.
Defender is an indigenously developed drone by Throttle Aerospace Systems which can be used for tracking and capturing systems for rogue drones, the company said.
Defender is loaded with 13 AI features to neutralise rogue drones. With rising instances of drone-based aerial threats to restricted installations under defence and private airspace, this solution will provide the first-of-a-kind capability to the Indian defence establishment to get rid of drones flying over unauthorised airspace.
The Defender is 70 percent made in India with the company only importing batteries and brushless direct current (BLDC) motors.
Neosky is also planning to launch many new drones in the enterprise segment in the next few months and will launch its first consumer drone in 2023, Gudlavalleti said.
The government is also looking to substantially increase the outlay of the PLI scheme for the sector.
The PLI scheme was introduced last year with an outlay of Rs 120 crore per annum for three years, which the industry expects to be raised to Rs 500 crore.
From Rs 88 crore before the production-linked incentive scheme was announced, the drone sector turnover has more than trebled to Rs 319 crore in fiscal 2021-22, much higher than the scheme's target of Rs 200 crore.Even in 2022-2023, the government has set a target of Rs 400 crore turnover, but looking at the growth trajectory, it is now estimated to hit Rs 700 crore. The turnover is likely to touch Rs 1,500 crore mark in fiscal 2024, according to the estimates.