India restricted imports of electronics. This include laptops, tablets and personal computers with immediate effect, according to a government notice on Thursday, in a bid to push local manufacturing.
“Their import would be allowed against a valid licence for restricted imports,” the notice said.
In April-June, electronics imports, which include laptops, tablets and personal computers, was $19.7 billion, up 6.25% year-on-year. Although Electronics imports range between 7% to 10% of the country’s total merchandise imports.
“The move’s spirit is to push manufacturing to India. It’s not a nudge, it’s a push,” said Ali Akhtar Jafri, former director general at electronics industry body MAIT.
India has been trying to push local manufacturing by giving production-linked incentives in over two dozen sectors, including electronics.
It has extended the deadline for companies to apply for its $2 billion manufacturing incentive scheme to attract big-ticket investments in IT hardware manufacturing, which covers products like laptops, tablets, personal computers and servers.
The incentive scheme is key to India’s ambitions to become a powerhouse in the global electronics supply chain. Moreover, India is targeting annual production worth $300 billion by 2026.
Laptops, tablets and personal computers compose about 1.5% of the country’s total annual imports. However nearly half of those are bought from China, according to government data.
India has imposed high tariffs in the past on products like mobile phones to catalyze domestic output.
Last year, it produced $38 billion worth mobile phones in the country. while local production of laptops and tablets were just $4 billion in comparison, according to estimates from industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association.