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Laptop imports to India must only be from trusted sources: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Before the import restriction was announced in August this year, the government had introduced a PLI (Performance Linked Incentive) scheme for companies to manufacture IT hardware in India.

India flag on laptop screen isolated on white. 3D illustration render.

“..we want to put in place an import management system that puts the onus on the vendor to ensure that their supplies are from trusted sources only,” Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar told the Indian Express on September 3. His statement comes after the government announced its plans to curb the imports of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers (AIO PC), and ultra-small form factor (USFF) computers and servers starting November 1. 

Some context please:

Before this import restriction was introduced in August, the government had initiated a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware under which it gave companies a financial incentive to manufacture in India. “With the scheme for IT hardware manufacturing, there is going to be a significant momentum in the manufacturing of laptops and servers in India,” Chandrasekhar said. He mentioned that the government recognizes that despite a rise in laptop production, there will still be a need for imports to meet the demand for these electronics, especially for high-performance devices.

Article continues below ⬇, you might also want to read:

Who are these “trusted sources” anyway?

This isn’t the first time that the Indian government has said that it will only allow imports from “trusted sources”. Even in the telecom market, the Indian government said it would only allow equipment that bears a ‘Trusted Products’ mark for network expansion. A mark that conveniently was not provided to two major telecom equipment manufacturers from China, Huawei and ZTE. 

Interestingly, the Indian Express report pointed out that India had spent $558.36 million in the import of personal computers, laptops, and tablets from China just in April-May this year. This tells us that the use of “trusted sources” as a benchmark for imports here could be yet another instance of the government trying to reduce India’s dependence on China.

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