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India Eases Planned Restrictions On Laptop Tablet Imports Report

India September 25(IM): India is loosening its planned restrictions on imports of laptops, tablets and other IT hardware, giving manufacturers such as Apple Inc., HP Inc. and Dell Technologies Inc. more time to prepare for potential curbs.

The country is doing away with a compulsory licensing requirement for tech importers, and will instead only ask such companies to register under its so-called import management system, people familiar with the policy said. The system will start operating on November 1, they said, asking not to be named as the matter isnt public.

India is seeking to boost local production while trying to ensure sufficient availability of consumer electronics. The government last month shocked companies such as Apple and Samsung Electronics, as it announced a plan to curb laptop and tablet imports without a suddenly required license.

As part of the latest plan, all companies bringing everything from tablets and laptops to desktop computers and servers into India will have to register. But unlike under the previously considered licensing regime, where companies were expected to cut back imports immediately, the new rules wont limit inbound shipments for about six to nine months, the people said.

A quota on imports could gradually kick in as companies begin to manufacture laptops, tablets and other hardware locally. The size of each companys quota will depend on its local production, import of IT hardware as well as export of such products from India, the people said.

The planned new rules dont apply to smartphones.

The maneuvers are part of Prime Minister Narendra Modis drive to increase local production and create a world-class tech manufacturing industry in India as companies look to diversify supply chains beyond China. India this year introduced a $2.1 billion financial incentive plan to draw computer makers to the worlds most populous nation.

Companies including Dell, HP, Lenovo Group Ltd., Foxconn Technology Group and Asustek Computer Inc. have sought the subsidies to make laptops, tablets and other products in India.

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