‘Reconsider PC import curbs’

Eight American trade groups asked the government to urge India to reconsider the policy…reports Asian Lite News

Top industry groups and tech giants, including Apple and Intel, have sent a letter to the US Department of Commerce, protesting against India’s recent import restrictions on PCs, laptops and servers.

In the letter, the biggest players in technology and manufacturing said the move “could significantly disrupt trade, hamper efforts to more closely integrate India into global supply chains, and harm businesses and consumers in both countries”.

Eight American trade groups asked the government to urge India to reconsider the policy, reports Bloomberg News.

The industry groups included the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Semiconductor Industry Association.

They wrote in the letter that any barrier to trade could affect the shipment of US-made computers and electronics into India.

According to the notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in India, for clearance of import consignments with effect from November 1, 2023, a valid licence for restricted imports is required.

The government has told tech companies that the restrictions are not to ban imports but to promote exports via domestic manufacturing.

Meanwhile, top consumer electronics companies like HP, Apple and Dell last week urged the government to extend the November 1 deadline for the licences required for PCs, laptops and tablets by at least an year, as it will take time to configure and set up manufacturing/assembling units as per new guidelines.

In a meeting with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) officials, also attended by leading industry bodies the Manufacturing Association of IT Hardware (MAIT) and the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), the tech companies conveyed to the government they need more time to set up manufacturing units in the country, according to sources.

Post November 1, no entity will be allowed to import laptops, computers, and related items without a license.

The Centre has said the restrictions were imposed for security reasons and also for promoting the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission.

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