Govt defers laptop import curbs till Nov 1
Meity officials say cos will get licence for importing these devices within 10-15 minutes after applying on DGFT portal
NEW DELHI: In a big relief to consumers and big laptop manufactures, the government has deferred import restrictions on laptops, all-in-one personal computers, and tablets. As per the guidelines provided by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the import of these devices can be carried out without requiring a valid licence until October 31.
This means the mandatory requirement of licence for bulk imports of computers, laptops and tablets would come into effect from November 1, 2023. The government has on Thursday announced restrictions on imports of computers, laptops and tablets in order to give a boost to local manufacturing. However, the decision created a lot of concerns over potential disruption in the supply of these goods during the festive season when significant sales of electronic items take place. There were also concerns that prices will shoot up ahead of the festive season.
Earlier, the officials from the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (Meity) had said there will be no disruption to goods in transit, and that tech companies will get sufficient time to apply for the license, and it can easily be applied online.
The Meity officials told media that companies will get the licence within 10-15 minutes after applying on the DGFT portal. The official said one company can apply for as many licenses with different branches and cities. “The prices of these goods - laptops, tablets, personal computers, etc won’t rise and there will be no disruption to goods in transit,” said the official.
“This is not at all about license raj. It is about regulating imports to ensure trusted and verifiable systems and ensuring India tech eco-system uses trusted and verified systems only that are imported and/or domestically manufactured trusted systems/products,” said Meity minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a tweet.
Meanwhile, experts are of the view that the abrupt decision to curb imports of personal computers, laptops, or tablets may have stemmed from the need to boost production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme 2.0, which has been a slow starter. After the successful implementation of the scheme for mobile manufacturing, the government launched a similar scheme for large hardware. However, it didn’t achieve the same level of success as the mobile scheme. Therefore, in June 2023, the government re-launched the scheme doubling the incentives to Rs 17,000 crore.
As per Meity officials, only two companies have filed applications under the scheme as of July 31. Companies can file their application till August 30. Experts believe the decision to curb imports of these devices can pose challenges for companies, which do not opt for the PLI scheme for large electronics and fail to tie-up with Indian contract manufacturers.
Requirement of licence for bulk import will be effective Nov 1
Govt has announced restrictions on imports of laptops
As per DGFT guideline, import of these devices can be carried out without requiring a valid licence till Oct 31
Govt decision created concerns over potential disruption in supply of these goods
There were also concerns that prices will shoot up ahead of the festive season