Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government would soon notify the transition time
IT secretary said that licences for importing laptops and personal computers will be dished out in under 5 minutes and will be valid for one year
Earlier in the day, it was reported that major companies, including Apple, Samsung, and HP, had halted imports for the government order on Thursday
A day after the Centre decided to impose restrictions on import of laptops, tablets, and personal computers with immediate effect, Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that there would be a transition period for the provision to come into effect.
“There will be a transition period for this to be put into effect which will be notified soon,” Chandrasekhar said on Twitter.
The clarification came after confusion erupted over the deadline for the implementation of the new regime.
A government official told Reuters earlier in the day that industry players had sought extension of the deadline by three to six months.
“Industry has sought a three to six month transition period. We are examining the suggestions made by the industry and may soon issue an additional notice with clarifications if needed,” Reuters reported citing a source.
As per the report, the government will allow imports of laptops and tablets without licences for shipments ordered prior to August 3. The Centre has also directed the customs department to clear ‘some consignments’ stuck at the ports owing to confusion around the new order, as per sources.
In a tweet earlier in the day, the MoS, citing the rationale for the restriction, said that the move is aimed at reducing import dependence and spur domestic manufacturing of laptops and personal computers.
The move was also driven by security concerns so as to ensure that only trusted hardware and computer systems enter the country.
Chandrasekhar also refuted claims that the move was emblematic of ‘License Raj’, saying that the licence mandates are aimed at regulating imports to ensure the homegrown tech ecosystem uses trusted and verified systems only.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has already operationalised a portal to streamline the process of licence registration for companies. IT secretary, as per Livemint, said that licence will be dished out in under 5 minutes and will be valid for one year.
According to the official, two companies have already applied for import licences. He also said that one company can apply for multiple licences and clarified that there is no ‘ban’.
The secretary also said that the government’s move wouldn’t impact goods in transit and the prices of such goods would not rise.
Meanwhile, Apple, Samsung and HP reportedly freezed new imports of laptops and tablets to India after the order. While laptop makers were already anticipating announcements curbing imports, the sudden announcement was said to have caught most original equipment manufacturers by surprise.
Amid all this, tech firms have now made a beeline for the central government to understand how to quickly obtain licences at a time when Diwali shopping season is just round the corner.