India will cut IT hardware imports by 70% in 3 yrs
Centre concerned about its dependence on imports from non-trusted sources and wants to make sure that its supply chain is more secure, says MoS IT Chandrasekhar
At present, almost 80% of our supplies to the digital ecosystem come from imports. We want to make sure whatever the sources are, they are trusted. As part of emphasising trust, it is obvious that the Indian component of that supply chain will have to grow. Today 8-10% of our supply requirement comes from India, we want to make that 65-70% in the next three years - Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for IT
♦ Only 8-10% IT hardware produced locally
♦ 40 cos applied for IT hardware PLI scheme
♦ Govt has allocated Rs 17,000 cr as incentives
New Delhi: The central government aims to meet up to 70 per cent of the country’s IT hardware requirement through local production in the next three years and reduce dependency on imports from non-trusted sources, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters, Chandrasekhar said Ministry of Electronics and IT said that Centre looked to curb dependence on supplies from non-trusted sources. “At present, almost 80 per cent of our supplies to the digital ecosystem come from imports. We want to make sure whatever the sources are, they are trusted. As part of emphasising trust, it is obvious that the Indian component of that supply chain will have to grow. Today 8-10 per cent of our supply requirement comes from India, we want to make that 65-70 per cent in the next three years,” the Minister said.
As many as 40 companies, including Dell, HP, and Lenovo, have applied for the IT hardware PLI scheme with a commitment to make personal computers, laptops, tablets, servers and other equipment worth Rs 4.65 lakh crore during the scheme period. If all companies get selected under the scheme then the government will need to increase the incentive amount to Rs 22,890 crore against the budgetary allocation of Rs 17,000 crore.
While the industry players have lauded the government’s PLI scheme, they have raised concern about abrupt restrictions on import of IT hardware. The minister said he will meet industry players later in the day and share draft rules on proposed IT hardware import restriction.
The central government prepared draft of the import management system which is aimed at addressing high dependency on imports from sources that are not fully verified as trusted, Chandrasekhar said.
The new rules to allow restricted imports of laptop, tablets, server etc are proposed to be in place from November 1. “As we build out the internet, Indian cloud and data centres, the servers that go into them, the laptop, all that should be from trusted sources. As part of emphasising trust, it is obvious that the Indian component of that supply chain will have to grow,” Chandrasekhar said.
Meanwhile, US-based technology industry body ITI President and CEO Jason Oxman in a blog on Friday said India is a leader in the technology policy space and with putting in place of Digital Personal Data Protection Act, it has achieved a feat that only few other economies have achieved.
He, however, said India must take a risk-based approach with respect to imports and recognise that no single country can manufacture everything at home. “Last month, India abruptly announced a new import restriction policy which would require a new licensing regime for imports of tablets, laptops, and other technology devices without any formal stakeholder engagement. Such policies will unnecessarily impede business and harm consumers and firms within India if implemented without extensive revisions, demonstrating the importance of ensuring the tech industry has a voice at the table,” Oxman said.
ITI represents global technology companies including Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Samsung etc. “Stakeholder consultation can help shape effective and appropriately targeted policies to advance India’s objectives, facilitate foreign investment, and comply with international trade obligations and norms,” Oxman said.