New Delhi has faced criticism over its move to restrict the import of hardware to boost domestic manufacturing
India has rolled back its decision to impose restrictions on the import of laptops, the trade secretary announced on Friday. This comes after New Delhi faced criticism from the industry over its move earlier this year to restrict the import of laptops, as it aims to boost domestic manufacturing of electronics.
“India will not impose restrictions on laptop imports,” Indian Trade Secretary Sunil Barthwal told the press in New Delhi, adding that the government “only wants importers to be on close watch.”
On August 3, the government announced the import licensing regime to “ensure trusted hardware and systems” are brought into India. The regime would impose restrictions on laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and ultra-small form factor computers.
Experts saw the move as an attempt to bolster the country’s production-linked incentive scheme for IT hardware. The government unveiled the $2-billion ‘Make in India’ scheme in May, upgraded from an $892-million initiative in 2021.
The restrictions would also deal a blow to China amid strained relations between the neighboring countries. China accounts for 75% of India’s tech imports, worth $5.33 billion in 2022-23.
The new regime was announced on August 3, but was delayed by three months after objections from industry and criticism by Washington, since it would affect companies such as Dell, HP, Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo, the Economic Times said.
New Delhi plans to expand its ‘Make in India’ program by attracting more tech giants such as Apple and Samsung to help India emerge as a manufacturing hub for electronics. To this end, India restricted the import of various types of color TV sets, including LCDs, in 2020.
New Delhi’s efforts to give impetus to locally-made electronics appear to have reduced the proportion of imported goods by 5% (from 69% in 2019-20 to 64% in 2021-22) as per data shared in parliament last year by the Ministry of Electronics and IT. However, the value of imported electronic goods and components saw an increase over the past three years – to $69 billion in the financial year 2021-22.
October 14, 2023 at 02:59PM