The Centre has countered the IT hardware industry’s request seeking a 9–12 month deferral of the new import licensing norms by asking players to submit a phased plan to ramp up production domestically.
Domestic IT players that businessline spoke with said that the Centre expects IT hardware manufacturers to localise value addition in the manufacturing of computers and other IT hardware by nearly 80 per cent in the next few years.
Moreover, they expect domestic production of IT hardware to move beyond packaging and assembly to the production of the entire unassembled parts of these devices. To that effect, the government has asked IT players to submit phased plans on how production will be ramped up domestically as the ongoing discussions between the government and the private industry ensue.
On Tuesday, representatives of many global IT hardware manufacturers, including Apple, Asus, and Dell, met with top officials at the Ministry of Electronics and IT, seeking some reprieve on the November 1 deadline to seek out valid import licences to receive import clearances for laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and ultra-small form factor computers and servers. These IT companies asked the government to defer the import curbs by 9 to 12 months as companies ramp up their domestic production and understand the licensing process.
Discussions are on with Indian IT hardware companies. According to sources, MeitY officials have also likely met with Lava and Bhagwati Products to commence negotiations around their expectations and the likely assistance that the State will provide to bolster production.
“Just like during the formulation of the mobile production-linked incentive scheme, the government has asked for a detailed production plan from the IT players, which will lay out the exact timeline and scale at which domestic manufacturing can be ramped up,” an executive working at an IT hardware firm explained. The executive added that the discussions are still in flux and that companies are seeking more leniency and assistance from the Centre for producing made-in-India IT hardware.