Govt. imposes curbs on import of laptops, computers, tablets

Syllabus: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Why in NEWS

The Union government on Thursday restricted all imports of laptops, tablets, and all-in-one and small-factor personal computers (PCs), requiring licences for these products to be brought into the country and sold to consumers.

Impact

  • The move is expected to particularly impact short-term laptop availability from laptop brands that rely on assembly abroad, such as Dell, HP, Lenovo and Apple.
  • The notification may entail longer wait times for individual products to be cleared for import and sale in India.

No Direct Import

  • “The said restriction shall not be applicable to imports under Baggage Rules,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in its notification announcing the curbs, indicating that travellers may be free to bring one of these products back with them from overseas without attracting penalties.
  • Laptops can still be purchased online from overseas, the government clarified; however, when these are imported by individual buyers, the import duty and shipping fees may make this an expensive prospect, as tax may also have to be paid in the country from where the laptop is purchased. Devices imported for research and development, and those repaired abroad, are exempt from these restrictions.

Electronic goods such as laptops are generally sold at lower rates than the maximum retail price (MRP), which allows manufacturers to hike prices on short notice when needed.

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