DGFT Begins Registration Process For IT Hardware Imports: Report

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The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Commerce Ministry is now accepting applications from companies interested in importing IT hardware like laptops and tablets, according to a report by The Economic Times on Wednesday. This registration initiative follows the government’s decision to postpone the mandatory licensing for such imports.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report mentioned that registration applications will be processed and approved within a week of submission. Interested companies are required to provide details such as import volume, value, and domestic manufacturing statistics for the past three years.

The registration period is set from November 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024, and is applicable at all ports across the nation. Import quotas may be enforced from October 1, with the allocation determined by a company’s local production, import history of IT hardware, and exports of such products from India, as suggested in a previous Bloomberg report.

Moreover, companies have the opportunity to propose changes to the registration process.

On August 3, the government introduced a licensing system to ensure the entry of “trusted hardware and systems” into India, aiming to enhance local manufacturing, reduce import dependency, and address the trade imbalance with China. Import restrictions were to be implemented immediately.

However, due to objections from the industry, the plan was postponed for three months. Presently, there are indications that the implementation may face further delays, potentially extending until at least September of the following year.

Last week, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, highlighted the government’s ambition to meet up to 70 per cent of the country’s IT hardware requirements through local production within the next three years, minimising reliance on unreliable sources.

A total of 40 companies, including Dell, HP, and Lenovo, have applied for the IT hardware Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme. They have committed to manufacturing personal computers, laptops, tablets, servers, and other equipment valued at Rs 4.65 trillion during the scheme period.

Recent reports suggest that approximately 30 out of the initial 40 applicants have met the criteria for the Rs 17,000-crore PLI scheme.

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