IT Dept Does Not Second Apple Plan
Importing second-hand consumer products will result in e-waste being dumped in India, it says
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.