IT import curbs: Licence Raj or Make in India?
SummaryIn a surprise move, the government last week reintroduced licensing and ended free imports of IT hardware. Many reasons have been cited for this step. Mint explains the possible rationale and the potential impact of the measure going forward:
Is licensing back in India?
Yes, at least when it comes to importing IT hardware. On 3 August, the government issued a notification that restricts free import of laptops, tablets, personal computers and servers. Importers, the notification said, needed a licence to do so with immediate effect. The next day, it clarified that a transition period would be given, and the notification would come to effect from 1 November. Free imports will now be allowed only till 31 October. This is one of the very few instances where the government has reintroduced controls through licensing after India liberalized its economy way back in 1991.