MUMBAI - The Indian government has approved investments by 27 companies including Dell, HP and Foxconn under its $2 billion incentive scheme to manufacture IT hardware domestically.

Information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the companies are expected to invest 30 billion Indian rupees ($360 million) collectively, while creating 50,000 jobs in the sector.

Approvals have also been granted to domestic manufacturers including Dixon Technologies and VVDN, the minister said.

The government had in May doubled the value of the incentive scheme to spur domestic production of laptops and tablets, following a lukewarm response to a previous programme.

The country is offering cash-backs to manufacturers on sales of locally made goods that exceed an annual target.

The scheme is key to India's ambitions to become a powerhouse in the global electronics supply chain, with the country targeting an annual output worth $300 billion by 2026.

($1 = 83.2440 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil; writing by Ira Dugal, Kirsten Donovan)