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India restricts laptop and computer imports to promote domestic production.

In a surprising step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has restricted the import of desktops and laptops into India in an effort to boost indigenous production in the IT industry.

According to a notice published by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Thursday, importers will now need to apply for licences in order to bring laptops, tablets, personal computers, and other electronic devices into the country. Previously, there were no limits on the import of such commodities.

The ministry didn’t specify why the criteria were altered, but Modi has vigorously promoted his “Make in India” campaign, which encourages domestic manufacturing in order to increase employment opportunities. It follows a 2020 ban on importing certain types of smart TVs.

Reuters reports that between April and June of this year, India imported $19.7 billion worth of electronics, an increase of 6.25 percent over the corresponding period in 2022.

The push for domestic manufacturing in the world’s most populous country comes as corporations attempt to diversify their supply chains away from China.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts that India’s population of working-age people would reach one billion during the next decade. Companies from all over the world, looking for alternatives to China, are drawn to the country in large part because of its enormous and young labour population.

In January of this year, Piyush Goyal, India’s minister of commerce, claimed that Apple was producing 5–7% of its products in India.

“If I’m not mistaken, they want to make up to 25% of their products there,” he said at a meeting in January.

Micron (MICR), a US chipmaker, said in June that it would be opening India’s first semiconductor assembly and test production facility in the western state of Gujarat.

Micron plans to spend up to $825 million on the initiative over the next few years, during which time it expects to directly employ “5,000 people and indirectly employ 15,000 people in the surrounding area,” according to the business.

Foxconn, the largest contract electronics manufacturer in the world and a significant Apple supplier, is also planning to increase its production in India.

It stated last month that it was pulling out of a joint venture with Vedanta (VEDL), an Indian metals and energy company, that was supposed to help develop one of India’s first chip factories at a cost of $19.4 billion.

But the company maintained its intention to engage in Indian chipmaking, saying it has submitted an application to a government programme that provides financial assistance to businesses who locate semiconductor or electronic display manufacturing plants within India.

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