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IT hardware companies: Defer laptop import curbs by 9-12 months.

According to sources, IT companies like Apple, Dell, HP, Acer, and others have requested an extension of the deadline for licences needed for the import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one computers, and other items of nine months to a year.

Executives from these companies claimed they would require this time to build up production facilities in India when they met with senior ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) officials on Tuesday.

“The businesses require adequate time to set up their manufacturing. Additionally, we are unaware about the licencing procedure and the information required from us. As a result, we will require this time, remarked one of the industry executives present. The government announced last week that beginning immediately, a licence will be required for the import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, servers, and ultra-small factor computers. The government gave the industry till October 31 after meeting with senior officials from the IT ministry and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) a day later.

The DGFT announced the extension and stated that “a valid licence for restricted imports is required for clearance of import consignments with effect from November 1, 2023.” Currently, there are no restrictions on these imports.

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Government’s assurances to IT firms:

The major IT hardware firms’ representatives, as well as those from the lobbying organisations Manufacturing Association of Hardware (MAIT) and the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), were present at the conference, according to the sources.

Requests for comment from Apple, Dell, HP, and Acer went unanswered.

According to authorities, the government gave the sector assurances that the import licensing requirements for specific electronics items were not intended to restrict or forbid imports, but rather to reduce them and look at measures to promote exports from India by enhancing domestic manufacturing capabilities.

Government representatives met with senior executives from Indian OEMs in addition to foreign OEMs to learn more about their manufacturing capacity and ramp-up times, according to the sources.

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