However, the government is clear that India’s policies in this regard are WTO compliant and there are no deviations from the commitments made under the global trade body. “…We are very clear and determined that we want an absolutely trusted supply chain for the Indian digital ecosystem, especially as we are just taking off (as a consumer market) and the entire internet will be built on servers, clouds and data centers,” an official said while responding to a question about the US and Korea, expressing concern about any kind of import restrictions.
“Ensuring security and trust does not conflict with trade agreements or commitments… (and) India wants to build a trusted digital backbone and ecosystem, and there can be no compromise on that,” the official added.
Sources said the government is aware of the laptop and server industry’s concerns around a previously proposed licensing regime, and is clearly not going for mandatory restrictions on the movement of devices. The new import management system has been created by taking into account industry inputs, with the broader contours being worked on by the ministries of commerce as well as IT and electronics.
Companies such as Apple, Samsung and other global players had expressed their concerns after the government discussed import restrictions and a licensing regime through a new policy on August 1. Companies had said the move would disrupt supplies and drive up prices.