New Delhi: The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) expressed confidence that valid licenses will be granted to trusted industry partners, facilitating ease of doing business, following the government’s announcement of restrictions on imports of laptops, personal computers, and other electronic items.
A notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Commerce Ministry outlined restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, personal computers, and servers. While import of these items will be permitted with a license, certain use cases have been exempted from the restrictions.
The notification allows the import of these electronic goods when they are an ‘essential’ part of a capital good.
Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of ICEA, stated that the policy announcement seems to be driven by the aim of providing secure digital access to the growing number of digital citizens in the country. He expressed confidence that valid licenses would be granted to trusted industry partners, promoting ease of doing business and ensuring unrestricted access to trusted brands for digital consumers.
The notification exempts around 20 items from an import license per consignment for purposes such as research and development, testing, benchmarking and evaluation, repair and re-export, and product development. Imports under baggage rules are also exempt from these restrictions, according to the DGFT notification.
Prabhu Ram, Head of the Industry Intelligence Group at CMR, views the new policy announcement as a step in the right direction. He believes it will restrict certain electronics imports and enforce licenses for restricted items, thus supporting the Make in India initiative.
The government recently extended the application window for the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme 2.0 for IT Hardware until August 30. The scheme aims to enhance the hardware manufacturing ecosystem and covers laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, servers, and ultra-small form factor devices. With a budgetary outlay of Rs 17,000 crore and an expected incremental investment of Rs 2,430 crore, the PLI scheme 2.0 for IT Hardware targets an incremental production amounting to Rs 3,35,000 crore and is expected to create 75,000 direct jobs along with over 2 lakh indirect jobs.
Overall, the new policy measures are expected to drive local manufacturing and employment opportunities in the electronics and IT sector.