Why Centre Banned Import Of Laptops, Computers And Its Impact

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computers

As part of a notable effort to strengthen local manufacturing and reduce dependency on imports, the Indian government has taken a significant step by imposing “immediate” restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, and personal computers, according to reports from PTI.

Impact of New Import Rules

  • Under the new rules, companies will now need an import license, which could potentially cause delays in the simultaneous launches of new PCs and laptop models in the Indian markets.
  • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry clarified that the mentioned restriction will not apply to imports under Baggage Rules, as amended occasionally.
  • The government grants an import licensing exemption for a single laptop, tablet, all-in-one personal computer, or ultra-small form factor computer, including those purchased from e-commerce portals via post or courier.
  • The exemption from import licensing extends to up to 20 items per consignment, specifically for R&D testing, benchmarking, evaluating, repairing, re-exporting, and product development purposes. It is essential to ensure that these goods are solely utilized for the mentioned objectives to comply with the regulations.

  • Users must strictly use the imported goods for specified purposes and cannot sell them within the country. Once they achieve their objectives, users will render the products unusable or re-export them.

 

Why the restriction? 

  • The government recognizes a significant opportunity for Indian manufacturers to step in as electronics imports, comprising laptops, tablets, and personal computers, reached $19.7 billion during April-June 2023, with an annual growth rate of approximately 6%.  
  • The recent action demonstrates the Indian government’s determined effort to boost the domestic manufacturing sector.
  • India aims to reduce heavy reliance on imports, particularly from China. Laptops, tablets, and personal computers account for 1.5% of total annual imports, with nearly half from China. Prior high tariffs on mobile phones led to a successful $38 billion in domestic production last year.  
  • Aligned with production-linked incentives (PLIs) for over two dozen industries, including electronics, the government extends the application deadline for its $2 billion manufacturing incentive scheme. This initiative seeks significant investments in IT hardware manufacturing, aiming for an annual electronics production worth $300 billion by 2026.