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Laptops, tablets import curb deferred to Nov 1

Laptops and tablets import restrictions deferred to Nov 2023

Import restriction order issued on August 3 on laptops and computers including tablets has been deferred to November now by the government of India in its decision on Friday.

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This move is likely to give some time to electronic companies to import devices till October without a licence. After immediate restriction notification, industry experts have raised their concerns about its impact on their businesses.

In a late-night order issued on Friday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said the notification dated August 3 shall be effective from November 1. From November, the new rule will be implemented where it will be mandatory to obtain a licence from the government to import these devices.

The notification read, “Import consignments can be cleared till October 31, 2023 without a licence for restricted imports. For clearance of import consignments with effect from November 1, 2023, a valid licence for restricted imports is required.

According to officials, the restriction was imposed to promote domestic manufacturing as this move will curb in-bound shipments from countries like Korea and China. The curb will also help the authorities to track the locations from where the goods are being shipped to India.

As per the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy, FDI up to 100 percent under the automatic route is permitted for electronics manufacturing (except from countries sharing land borders with India), subject to applicable laws/ regulations; security, and other conditions.

To encourage ‘Make in India’ and to promote the manufacturing and production of goods and services in India with a view to enhancing income and employment, the Government has issued Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017 vide the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Order dated June 15, 2017, and subsequent revisions vide Orders dated May 28, 2018, May 29, 2019, June 04, 2020, and September 16, 2020, respectively.

In furtherance of the order, MeitY has notified mechanism for calculating local content for 13 Electronic Products viz., (i) Desktop PCs, (ii) Thin Clients, (iii) Computer Monitors, (iv) Laptop PCs, (v) Tablet PCs, (vi) Dot Matrix Printers, (vii) Contact and Contactless Smart Cards, (viii) LED Products, (ix) Biometric Access Control/Authentication Devices, (x) Biometric Finger Print Sensors, (xi) Biometric Iris Sensors, (xii) Servers, and (xiii) Cellular Mobile Phones, for procurement to be made from local suppliers.

MeitY has notified “Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirement of Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012” for mandatory compliance to ensure the safety of Indian citizens by curbing the import of substandard and unsafe electronic goods into India.

The Digital India mission is a program to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The umbrella scheme has been pivotal in generating employment across all domains. Electronics Manufacturing is an important pillar of the Digital India mission.

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