India has decided not to place limitations on importing laptops, rolling back its earlier plan of curbing imports after criticisms. The Indian trade secretary Sunil Barthwal on Friday announced the change.
India had planned to introduce import rules on August 3 to ensure safe hardware and systems, but after facing criticism from the industry and the US government, they delayed the plan by three months. This plan would have affected companies like, Apple, Dell, Samsung and HP.
The change doesn’t mean that laptop imports will go back to the old way. The government, represented by Directorate General of Foreign Trade Santosh Kumar Sarangi, is discussing with industry experts to create a new set of rules.
This new plan is expected to be revealed by the end of this month.
The import rules for laptop makers from November 1 were going to limit their scope to import products and the brands were supposed to register with the import department to get the license to import the products.
These changes would have forced companies to reduce their imports, which could have put a massive burden on the product demand, forcing retailers to increase the prices of laptops.
In fact, the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) in August, wrote to the IT Ministry, requesting the government to rethink its decision on import licensing requirement accompanied by a quota.
The letter said that an overarching factor that should be taken into consideration in “avoiding supply chain disruption till domestic production ramps up” is that any “reduction in supplies or even an indication will lead to hoarding and market distortion”.
This, in turn, can push up consumer prices, “which will adversely impact not just key stakeholders such as students, but also those who are the core of growing the digital economy, i.e. start-ups, IT and ITES firms, BPOs”.
(With input from agencies)