Around 44 companies, including major brands, have sought incentives through the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware manufacturing. The import restrictions recently imposed on items like laptops and tablets were introduced with security considerations in mind. The last date to apply for the Rs 17,000 crore PLI scheme for manufacturing IT hardware in India is August 30.
According to Counterpoint Research, in the June 2023 quarter, the top five companies in the personal computer segment in India were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple and Acer.
Research Director Tarun Pathak stated that the total laptop and PC market size in India amounts to approximately $8 billion annually and around 65 per cent of the units are imported. This highlights the significance of the IT hardware manufacturing PLI scheme and its potential to boost local production and reduce import dependence in the country.
Another government official discussed the import restrictions imposed on laptops, tablets, servers, all-in-one personal computers and ultra-small form factor computers last Thursday. However, on Friday, the government issued a notification deferring the implementation to November 1, meaning import consignments won’t require a licence until October 31.
The licencing requirement for importing IT hardware aims to safeguard against in-built security loopholes that could potentially jeopardise sensitive personal and enterprise data. This delay in implementation allows companies more time to prepare for compliance with the new regulations.
The recent move will transform India into an export hub for laptops and servers. He highlighted that there is already a well-established ecosystem for manufacturing laptops and servers in the country. Additionally, with 44 companies already registered for the IT hardware PLI, many of them are ready to commence production immediately, further strengthening the local manufacturing capabilities and positioning India as a potential exporter in the global IT hardware market.
It’s impressive to note that almost all major laptop manufacturers have applied for the revised PLI scheme. The official stated that two prominent server manufacturers have shown a clear commitment to making India a significant export hub for their products. With this momentum, he envisions that the scale of locally made laptops and tablets will eventually reach a similar level as mobile phones, with 99 per cent of them being manufactured in India. This signifies a positive outlook for the growth and development of the IT hardware manufacturing sector in the country.