In a big relief for Apple, Dell and Samsung, it has been announced that the government has delayed the licensing mandate for import of laptops, tablets and personal computers by nearly 3 months, Reuters reported late on Friday night.
"Import consignments can be cleared till October 31 withouta licence and a government permit would be required for clearance of import from November 1," an official notification said.
Earlier today, it was reported that the govt will provide a transition period before a new licensing regime for imports of laptops, tablets and personal computers comes into effect. This was revealed by a Union minister on Friday, after the surprise move prompted calls for a delay.
In a shock decision, India on Thursday said it would impose a licensing requirement for imports of laptops, tablets and personal computers with immediate effect.
"There will be a transition period for this to be put into effect which will be notified soon," Deputy IT and Electronics Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.
Another government official, who did not want to be named, said the proposal could be deferred by at least a month and the notification will be issued by later on Friday.
India's trade, electronics and IT ministry did not immediately reply to an email seeking comments.
Chandrasekhar's comments come after another government official told Reuters earlier on Friday that industry had requested a deferral of the new import licence order by three to six months.
"Industry has sought a 3-6 month transition period. We are examining the suggestions made by the industry and may soon issue an additional notice with clarifications if needed," the second government source, who also did not want to be named, told Reuters.
The government in its notification on Thursday gave no reason for the action, which could affect technology companies such as Apple, Dell and Samsung and potentially see them boost local manufacturing.
The move was aimed at addressing the trade imbalance with China, a third government official, told reporters.
The Deputy IT Minister had earlier said that the move to restrict imports was to "ensure trusted hardware and systems" and reduce dependence on imports.
India's Electronics and IT ministry said New Delhi will issue licences for companies to import laptops and tablets within two days. Licences can be obtained online.
The second unnamed government official said India will allow imports of laptops and tablets without licences where the shipment was ordered before Aug 3. The official said customs has been told to clear "some consignments" that are stuck at the ports due to confusion over the new import licence order.
To apply for the import licences companies will have to provide information on consignment origin, number of pieces and past import history.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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