India has the potential to replicate the success it achieved in mobile phone manufacturing in the domain of laptops and tablets, according to Union IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. The country has become a significant manufacturer of laptops, tablets, and servers, and the government has imposed import restrictions on various IT hardware products, including laptops and tablets, to boost domestic manufacturing. These regulations, effective from November 1, aim to reduce reliance on imports from China. Importers will need to obtain import authorizations, and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has launched an online platform to streamline the import management process.
Arun Venkatraman, the US Additional Secretary for Commerce, stressed the importance of meaningful consultation before implementing changes to import policies. While the United States supports India’s efforts to enhance supply chain resilience, it emphasizes the need for clear articulation of objectives in India’s import authorization policy for ICT. Several US companies, including Tesla, Micron, and First Solar, are collaborating with the Indian government.
In the fiscal year 2022-23, India imported laptops worth $5.33 billion, a decrease from the previous fiscal year’s $7.37 billion. The IMF Director acknowledged India’s progress but suggested that restricting imports may not be the most effective strategy. The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is addressing industry concerns and stated its reluctance to impose unwarranted constraints leading to artificial scarcity. MeitY will consider the possibility of additional restrictions after assessing import data up to September 30, 2024. The focus remains on trade liberalization and eliminating unnecessary restrictions to fully realize India’s potential.
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