The government is to abandon plans to implement licensing requirements for the import of IT hardware products like laptops, tablets, servers, etc even in the long run. This is good news for multinational producers like Dell, HP, Apple, Samsung, and Asus. As per the officials the government is assuring leading IT hardware brands that until October 2024, there will be no restrictions on the quantity of IT hardware products that can be imported.
In May this year, the government increased the incentive outlay for its production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware from Rs. 7,325 crore to Rs. 17,000 crore. This scheme ensures that companies who choose to assemble laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and ultra-small form factor (USFF) computers in India receive financial support from the government.
Weeks after the import licensing requirement of IT products were notified, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw revealed that the government has received 38 applications (including applicants like Dell, Lenovo, and Acer) for the scheme. While imports will not be licensed under the new plan, the fact that domestic manufacturing is a criterion for deciding import quotas, says that the government is staying firm on its mission to reduce reliance on foreign IT products.
The government has reportedly decided to call off plans to impose import curbs on IT hardware products such as laptops, tablets, and servers. This is a positive development for the IT industry and consumers in India. The government had originally planned to impose import curbs on IT hardware products in order to reduce the country's reliance on imports and promote domestic manufacturing. However, the government has now decided to hold off on these plans, after receiving feedback from industry stakeholders.
As per officials , a system for import authorization will be established within the next six to eight months. This mechanism will allocate quotas to companies importing IT hardware. Additionally, the officials say that the government is assuring leading IT hardware brands that until October 2024, there will be no restrictions on the quantity of IT hardware products that can be imported.
Import authorizations will be granted to companies based on three criteria—”the import value of the previous year or the average of the past three years for IT products, domestic manufacturing of IT hardware devices, and exports of electronics goods”. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will oversee the entirely online import management system, ensuring transparency and efficiency.
The government says that it will not impose any control on the quantity of IT products being imported till October 2024. It is also considering a sunset clause for the system by 2030 – meaning that by 2030, the law might cease to exist. Experts says that, with this regulation, the refurbished PCs are to get controlled, which is more then 20% of total laptops sold in the market.
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