Civil Aviation Ministry notifies operational guidelines for drone PLI scheme

The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified the Operational Guidance of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for UAVs and Unmanned Aircraft Components. An expenditure of Rs 120 crore has been approved and the scheme is scheduled to take place between FY23-25.

In a November 29 call, the minister said, based on consultations and meetings with stakeholders, including industry representatives and relevant departments, the PLI plan operational guidelines for unmanned aircraft components have been finalized.


The PLI scheme will only be for companies involved in manufacturing UAV and UAV components in India. UAV components include atmospheric flames, propulsion systems, power systems, batteries and associated components, launch and recovery systems, communication systems (such as radio frequencies, transceivers, etc.), cameras, sensors, spray systems, regulated payloads, and also UAV software and UAV components.

The total PLI of each manufacturer is a maximum of ₹ 30 crore.

“In the event that the incentives calculated under this scheme exceed the budget for a given year, they will be reduced on a pro rata basis for each applicant,” the notification said.

Businesses (other than MSMEs) with an annual turnover of Rs 4 crore from selling UAVs and those with an annual turnover of Rs 1 crore from selling UAV components are eligible for this scheme. On the other hand, MSMEs and startups with a turnover (annual) of Rs 2 crore are making/sales of drones. In the case of drone component makers, the eligibility threshold will be Rs 0.5 crore of annual sales.

The Project Management Agency will be the nodal agency and will be responsible for application assessment, verification and eligibility, PLI screening and disbursement, compilation of data on performance and progress of the scheme.

“periodic review”

An Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) was formed, headed by the Cabinet Secretary. EGoS will conduct a “periodic review” of outputs under the scheme, and take appropriate action to ensure that expenditures are within the specified expenditures given by Cabinet. It will conduct periodic reviews regarding its investment, job generation, production and value addition of the PLI plan. The review of incentive rates and caps will also be within the competence of EGoS.