Monday, July 15, 2024

Govt shelves move to curb laptop imports

The government is rolling back its plan to restrict laptop imports, months after suddenly announcing the move to introduce a licence system which was aimed at boosting domestic production but had drawn flak from industry as an interference with free trade.

“India will not impose restrictions on laptop imports,” Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said at a press conference on Friday.

He said the government “only wants importers to be on close watch.”

The government said that the import licensing regime, announced on August 3, was meant to “ensure trusted hardware and systems” enter India which was an oblique reference to Chinese goods.

However, introduction of the new licence system was delayed by three months after objections from industry and criticism from the US, which is India’s largest trading partner.

The restrictions would have hit sales of US companies such as Apple, Dell, HP, and Korean electronics giant Samsung among others.

The government is holding consultations with industry and a new order on laptop imports will be announced by the end of October, Directorate General of Foreign Trade Santosh Kumar Sarangi said.

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