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June, 15

Import curbs on laptops: ‘Companies to get sufficient time to apply for licence’

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NEW DELHI: The government is expected to give more time to companies to apply for licences to import laptops and other devices, government sources said.

The timelines may be extended, maybe by a month or so and DGFT notice on this can be expected soon, news agency PTI quoted IT ministry sources as saying.
“Security concern one of the reasons behind decision to restrict import of laptops,” it added.

The government on Thursday added laptops, tablets and personal computers to a list of imports that are restricted, joining the ranks of tyres, television sets and air conditioners.
These items can now be imported only after getting a licence from the Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT). China and South Korea are seen to be among the largest sources of imports, along with Vietnam. Although no reason was stated for the latest import curb, officials said that it has been done to “safeguard the security of citizens” and added that imports will be allowed only from “trusted sources”.
“Some of the hardware can potentially have security-related issues and compromise sensitive and personal data. We have taken into account a few of those goods,” an official said.
The notification by the DGFT comes days after the government’s PLI scheme for hardware failed to find any takers despite the incentive amount being increased by 131% to Rs 17,000 crore. The government has been keen to check the import of electronic goods including laptops, tablets, PCs and mobile phones but finds its hands tied, having committed to zero-duty imports under the World Trade Organization’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA1). “The ban can help overcome that problem,” said a trade expert.





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