Import Restrictions on Laptop and Computers

The government restricts the import of laptops and computers through a notice which has been issued by the Directorate General of foreign trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It includes laptops, tablets,  Microcomputers, personal computers, ultra Small form factor computers, and servers falling under HSN8471.

According to the Notice which has been issued and shared by the Directorate General of foreign trade, these products can now only be imported if a valid license for restricted imports is obtained. It will implement from 1st November 2023. Import restrictions on laptops and computers challenge all the leading companies like Dell, Acer, Samsung, Apple, Asus, etc.

Exceptions regarding Import Restrictions on Laptop and Computers

Image Source: India today.in

There are some exceptions regarding Import Restrictions on Laptop and Computers as Laptop and computer can be imported under the baggage rule when a person buys a laptop and put it into his bag when get back to his country from a foreign county. Therefore, it is not restricted to taking a laptop for personal use. It is also allowed to import 20 pieces for research, development, testing, repair, etc. It also permits the import of raw material from foreign countries and assembles it into India, this does not need any license for manufacturing laptops and Computers in India. Thus, India has announced import restrictions only on finished laptops and computers and gives exceptions to personal use.

Favors and Criticisms of Import restrictions on laptops and computers 

Image Source: CNBC- TV18.com

The benefits to implement these Import restrictions on laptops and computers are that it makes them push for Digital upliftment of the Indian Market and create a Global Manufacturing hub in India. The government also explained, “ It is not a nudge, it is a push. The Move’s spirit is to push manufacture development to India”. Thus, India has announced import restrictions only on finished laptops and computers and gives exceptions to personal use. Multiple justifications for the move have been offered, including national security concerns. but the more relevant reason could be that the centers revised pproduction-linkedincentive scheme for IT hardware has failed so much traction. So Government wants to promote this scheme at its full length.

These Import restrictions on Laptops and computers promotes Indian Companies to innovate and create affordable devices for the market of India and its population. For example, recently JioBook laptop was Launched by Reliance with very amazing features and a cheap price of around 16,499 rupees. It has 64 GB storage and 256 GB with an SD card. It has a different operating system called JioOS. Its weight is also very Light which is 990 grams only, which is very light in comparison with other companies devices.

In Criticism, These Import Restrictions on laptops and computers promote Protectionism whereas India is promoting Liberalism and an Open market since 1991 reforms. It is a contradictory steps to the 1991 LPG Reforms. Analyst who counter this view say that the nearly eight years of protectionism have not pushed up the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP level of around 14% have been steady for well over the Decade. According to Pratap Bhanu Mehta in his Article “Some Laptop Questions ”, India has had some success in exporting mobiles but in other cases automobiles for example, made and assembled in India , even by  Multinationals, are not competitive on the quality Curve. It is possible that you can relocate assembly and manufacturing, but India will not be at the edge of the quality curve . So it is important to configure Industrial Policy in a way that becomes a push for exports , ot another import substitution scheme.

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