New Delhi: The cabinet on Thursday approved a revised preferential market access (PMA) policy for import of security sensitive electronic equipment by public sector companies and defence procurement.

While the exact details of the approved policy could not be ascertained, an internal memo of the department of telecommunications showed the government was likely to drop the security limitation for the purpose of encouraging domestic manufacturing of the goods in question.

An earlier version of the policy, approved by the cabinet on 2 February 2012, called for giving preference to domestically manufactured electronic products that have security implications for the country, covering the government as well as the private sector. The defence forces were exempt in this version.

On 8 July, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had said that “the revised proposal on PMA in the private sector for security-related products will not have domestic manufacturing requirements, percentage based or otherwise".

The rules are in line with World Trade Organization policy that says security concerns cannot be used to promote local manufacturing.

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