New Delhi, 31 March 2022: The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components were notified on 30th September 2021 and the Government has invited applications from drone manufacturers for the PLI scheme on 10thMarch 2022. The Government is providing a total incentive of INR 120 crore spread over three financial years to the drone manufacturers/ industry under the PLI scheme. The PLI rate is 20% of the value addition over three financial years. PLI for a manufacturer shall be capped at 25% of total annual outlay.

The value addition shall be 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. In case a manufacturer fails to meet the threshold for the eligible value addition for a particular financial year, the manufacturer will be allowed to claim the lost incentive in the subsequent year if the manufacturer makes up the shortfall in the subsequent year.As on 22ndMarch 2022, one application has been received from the drone manufacturers under the PLI scheme. The last date for submission of application form is 31stMarch 2022.

The Central Government has undertaken a series of reform measures to promote India’s upcoming drone industry which are as follows:

(i) Liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 notified on 25th August 2021.

(ii) Drone Airspace Map published on 24th September 2021, opening up nearly 90% of Indian airspace as a green zone for drone flying up to 400 feet.

(iii) Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones notified on 30th September 2021.

(iv) UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Policy Framework published on 24th October 2021.

(v) Monetary grant program for purchase of agricultural drones was announced by the Union Agriculture Ministry on 22nd January 2022.

(vi) All five application forms under Drone Rules, 2021 made online on the DigitalSky Platform on 26th January 2022

(vii) Drone certification scheme notified on 26th January 2022, making it easier to obtain type certificate by drone manufacturers.

(viii) Drone import policy notified on 9th February 2022, banning import of foreign drones and freeing up import of drone components.

(ix) Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022 notified on 11th February 2022, abolishing the requirement of a drone pilot licence.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. (Dr) V. K.Singh(Retd) in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.