India's PM calls for e-waste to enter 'circular economy' while also promoting subsidies to factories that make e-waste

Suggests industry forms a taskforce to do something eventually

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called on his nation's industries to get better at recycling electronics.

In a speech to the Indian Mobile Congress 2020, an event staged by India's Department of Telecommunications and the Cellular Operator Association of India, Modi suggested that India's gadget lust has become a problem.

"Due to technological upgradation, we have a culture of replacing handsets and gadgets frequently," he said, before asking: "Can the industry form a taskforce to think of better ways of handling the electronic waste and create a circular economy?"

Modi didn't explain the goals he hoped such a taskforce should pursue, or what success would look like for the hypothetical body.

Due to technological upgradation, we have a culture of replacing handsets and gadgets frequently

But the PM did mention the production-linked incentive scheme that aims to lure electronics manufacturers to India by offering them subsidies that increase as production ramps up. Modi also pointed out that India is a low-tariff country that should therefore appeal to investors.

"We have achieved much success in mobile manufacturing in India," he said, adding: "Let us work together to make India a global hub for telecom equipment, design, development and manufacturing."

He did not link the call for development of a circular economy with India's investment attraction efforts. Nor did the PM mention that China has banned imports of recyclable waste products nor the potential for India to either become an e-waste recycling alternative or to have its new manufacturers emphasise reuse.

Modi did reiterate India's plans to digitise services, wire the nation, foster startups, and do it all faster with 5G. ®

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