India Computer Tariffs 'Taxing Progress,' Dell Says

Dell says size of its investment in India depends on tariffs.

Michael Dell told India on March 20 to slash tariffs on personal computers if it wants large-scale investment by the world's second-biggest PC maker. "If we have fantastic opportunities, we will have fantastic investment," said Dell's founder. "Twenty to 25% of the costs (of personal computers in India) are related to taxes and tariffs which is far higher than elsewhere," Dell said while in New Delhi.

Dell said the levies were "taxing progress" in the country of more than one billion people.

Dell's planned $30 million computer manufacturing plant near the southern city of Chennai will start operations in July, adding to its existing call centre, research and computer sales businesses, he said. The plant is expected to have capacity to produce 400,000 units a year. The degree and size of the ultimate investment (by Dell) will depend on what happens on tariffs," Dell said.

"India needs to reduce tariffs on personal computers in order to attract more investment from Dell and its suppliers," Dell said, adding that the country was losing out on investment to China, Vietnam and other Asian centers.

Dell said its Indian sales grew by 50% in 2006 to hit $400 million.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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