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India imposes restrictions on import of TVs

India has imposed restrictions on import of colour televisions (which effectively means all consumer TVs), presumably in a bid to encourage domestic production. In a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on July 31, imports of colour TVs in certain categories will now require a licence from the government, as the directorate revised the import policy for these items from “free” to “restricted”.

The directorate said it will separately issue the procedure for the grant of licence. It also said the actual user condition would not be applicable to importers seeking authorisation to import the restricted goods. Actual user is basically a person who utilises imported goods for manufacturing in their own industrial unit.

The move comes amid heightened tensions between India and China, from where a lot of these colour televisions are imported. According to an Economic Times report, China accounted $292.48 million for total imports under the restricted into India in fiscal 2020. Indian companies have become a vocal critic of products imported from China in the aftermath of border tensions, and the trend is apparent in multiple industries including electronics and drones.

The Indian government on its part banned 59 apps developed by Chinese companies, including popular short video app TikTok, on “national security” grounds, and later restricted Chinese companies from participating in public procurement bids.

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