At least 32 international electronics companies have applied to India's incentive programme to make laptops, tablets and servers in the country, a top minister said on Wednesday, weeks after the government announced restrictions on laptop imports.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is pushing to boost domestic manufacturing capacity under its "Make in India" initiative, with several global companies either setting up their own units or entering joint ventures with Indian firms.
The applications by the electronics companies were made under the country's $2 billion (roughly Rs. 16,500 crore) production-linked incentive (PLI) programme for information technology hardware, announced in May, Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
Earlier this month, India said it would impose a licensing requirement for imports of laptops, tablets and personal computers, which was widely seen as a move to boost local production.
The companies that have applied to make laptops and other products in India include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Technologies, Asus, Acer and Lenovo, said Vaishnaw, according to a video feed from ANI news agency, in which Reuters has a minority stake.
The PLI scheme for IT hardware is expected to bring Rs. 24.3 billion of incremental investment and is likely to generate 75,000 direct jobs, the minister said.
India will provide a transition period of about three months before a new licensing regime for imports of laptops, tablets, and personal computers comes into effect, the country's trade regulator said on August 5.
This is a partial reversal from a surprise decision on Thursday to impose the licensing requirement with immediate effect, which had prompted calls for a delay.
"Import consignments can be cleared till October 31 without a license and a government permit would be required for clearance of import from November 1," the government said in a notification.
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