IT Dept Does Not Sec­ond Ap­ple Plan

Im­port­ing sec­ond-hand con­sumer prod­ucts will re­sult in e-waste be­ing dumped in In­dia, it says

The Economic Times - - Sports - Gul­veen.Au­lakh@ times­group.com

New Delhi: Ap­ple’s bid to sell sec­ond­hand iPhones in In­dia has hit a hur­dle with the IT depart­ment op­pos­ing the move, which, if ac­cepted, can deal a blow to the smart­phone maker’s plan to ex­pand in the world’s fastest-grow­ing mar­ket.

The Depart­ment of Elec­tron­ics and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy has told the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment & Forests (MoEF) and the Di­rec­tor General of For­eign Trade (DGFT) it does not sup­port the im­port of sec­ond-hand con­sumer prod­ucts be­cause it con­trib­utes to elec­tronic waste be­ing dumped in In­dia, of­fi­cials said. It is also against bring­ing in sec­ond-hand elec­tron­ics prod­ucts, re­fur­bish­ing them and sell­ing them in the coun­try.

“We are fine with im­port­ing the com­po­nents, re­fur­bish­ing them lo­cally for ex­ports” be­cause it would gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment and con­trib­ute to forex earn­ings, a se­nior of­fi­cial said. The IT depart­ment’s stand comes when the gov­ern­ment is woo­ing Ap­ple to in­crease its in­vest­ments in In­dia, in­clud­ing set­ting up an R&D cen­tre and lo­cal pro­duc­tion. The MoEF and DGFT are said to be scru­ti­n­is­ing Ap­ple’s ap­pli­ca­tion to im­port and sell pre-owned cer­ti­fied iPhones in In­dia. Afi­nal call on the com­pany’s ap­pli­ca­tion is yet to be taken. The com­pany has also sought per­mis­sion to man­u­fac­ture and sell phones in In­dia. Its pre­vi­ous ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected by the MoEF on grounds that it would add to the e-waste bur­den as the life of the phones may be near­ing an end.

Ex­perts said if the gov­ern­ment does give Ap­ple the go-ahead, it would need to ex­pand the scope to in­clude phones of other brands and sec­ond-hand lap­tops and desk­top com­put­ers, among other prod­ucts. This would need a ma­jor pol­icy relook.

Lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers op­pose Ap­ple’s plan, fear­ing it would en­cour­age dump­ing of e-waste and go against the gov­ern­ment’s Make in In­dia pro­gramme.

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