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Govt to make IT hardware import authorisation process online, seeks data

New Delhi, Sep 22, 2023 

The government on Friday informed IT hardware players that the process of import authorisation for laptops, tablet, servers etc. will be completely online and has sought data of the past three years for the inbound shipments of mobile, IT and telecom products, sources aware of the development said.

Industry players have been informed that the "import management system" portal, which will be managed by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), will go live by the end of this month.

"MeitY has informed companies that 'import management system' will go live by September end. It will be managed by DGFT. It has asked importers to feed their organisation data and import data subsequently for the past 3 years," a source, who did not wish to be identified, told PTI.

The government has proposed to implement new rules for import of IT hardware from November 1.

The new rule will allow imports of IT hardware by authorised firms.

The import management system will handle imports related to mobile phones, IT and telecom products.

"The import authorisation will be processed completely online without any manual interventions for speedy approval," an industry source said.

The authorisation will be initially granted for about a year, after which there will be gradual reduction of 5 per cent on import quota of finished products.

"There may be conditional relief on import quota on a case to case basis," the industry source said.

Minister of State for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar will hold a meeting with the industry on October 1 to assess the situation.

"The minister has told industry that he will also speak with commerce minister Piyush Goyal and request him to set up a similar consultation with the industry on this subject," the industry source said.

Earlier in the day, Chandrasekhar told reporters that the government aims to meet up to 70 per cent of the country's IT hardware requirement through local production in the next three years and reduce dependency on imports from non-trusted sources.

"At present, almost 80 per cent of our supplies to the digital ecosystem come from imports. We want to make sure whatever the sources are, they are trusted.

"As part of emphasising trust, it is obvious that the Indian component of that supply chain will have to grow. Today 8-10 per cent of our supply requirement comes from India, we want to make that 65-70 per cent in the next three years," the minister said.

As many as 40 companies, including Dell, HP, and Lenovo, have applied for the IT hardware production linked incentive (PLI) scheme with a commitment to make personal computers, laptops, tablets, servers and other equipment worth Rs 4.65 lakh crore during the scheme period.

If all companies get selected under the scheme then the government will need to increase the incentive amount to Rs 22,890 crore against the budgetary allocation of Rs 17,000 crore.

While the industry players have lauded the government's PLI scheme, they have raised concern about abrupt restrictions on import of IT hardware.

[Press Trust of India]

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