" "

Indian govt to review import management system for laptops in September: Report

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update
Indian govt to review import management system for laptops

The Indian government is likely to reassess the import management system for laptops and digital devices around September this year.

According to an ET report, the review aims to gauge electronics manufacturers' readiness to either initiate or enhance their manufacturing capabilities within India. 

The assessment will focus on various parameters, including the volume of laptops imported since October 2023, the origin of these devices and their components, and the verification of these components from trusted sources.

Evaluating manufacturers' commitment


A key aspect of the upcoming review is to determine the efforts made by companies to establish manufacturing units in India. "The idea also is to check whether these companies made any efforts towards setting up India manufacturing units," ET reported, citing a senior government official.

The evaluation will play a crucial role in understanding these companies' commitment to meeting India's manufacturing and economic goals.

Potential relaxation of import criteria

Depending on the progress demonstrated by individual companies, the government may consider easing some of the criteria for importing laptops, tablets, and other IT hardware. Establishing printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing and surface mount technology (SMT) lines in India is identified as a significant challenge. Overcoming this hurdle could greatly enhance the domestic value addition to electronic devices.

The impact of import restrictions

In August last year, the government placed laptops, tablets, and other specified IT hardware in the restricted imports category, requiring importers to obtain a license. The move, which was aimed at encouraging domestic manufacturing and reducing imports, initially caused panic among local industry players, including global giants like Apple, Dell, and Lenovo. 

Following the industry pushback, the government extended the compliance deadline to October 31, 2023.

Government's response 

Following the imposition of import restrictions, The country witnessed a significant surge in IT hardware imports, with a 50% increase in August compared to July 2023, as companies anticipated supply chain disruptions. 

In response to the industry's concerns, the government approved 110 out of 111 applications for IT hardware product imports worth nearly $10 billion on the first day of the new system's implementation. The system allows for shipments through mere authorization, aiming to monitor IT hardware product shipments without enforcing a licensing regime or disrupting the market supply chain.