Laptop ban bill: Analysts’ point of view

A policy deployed without proper planning always ends up being dangerous no matter how good the policy is

– A Politcian Once Said

Before I start commenting on the bill let’s just try to understand what this bill truly proposes and what is the idea behind the bill. The bill simply proposes to ban all imports and restrict imports with a license which will of course include some extra taxation and fees. The government says this is a step towards making India a manufacturing hub. Even though the idea behind the bill is good but it appears either the government doesn’t care about the impact on common people or they are just greedy for the extra money that licensing will bring. The ban will take effect on October 31st after which licensing is mandatory.

Effect on Common People

Ban imports will attract more expenses for laptop companies but the common man has to bear all those expenses. Laptop prices will increase. The entire setup of manufacturing units might take a few years and till then we have to bear a price rise in laptops. That’s fine but some companies are very restrictive towards their manufacturing units such as Apple. Apple mainly does its manufacturing in Vietnam as it is a cheap source. The PLI scheme however might attract big players to set up manufacturing. The problem mainly is with businesses’ intentions towards profit making. Most of these businesses might use this opportunity to rise their product prices intentionally. And I have a pretty solid belief that the prices will stay high and never come down. Though businesses might do something like a 30% increase unless the manufacturing units are set up and then cut the price by 10-15%. We will still get the product expensive.

The Positive

Both the PLI scheme and this laptop ban bill will indeed force companies to set up manufacturing in India. The new manufacturing units will not only benefit the government in terms of taxation but also benefit the people of India in terms of Jobs. The biggest power India has is its market consumption. No company would dare to give up on the 1.4 billion people’s market just for a license. In the long term, we can expect easier availability of these products, lower prices(doubtful), jobs, and an increment in our GDP. But, could the execution of the laptop ban bill be optimized?

Better Execution

I am not a political expert. But, I do believe the laptop ban could have been implemented in a series of steps for a better impact. How so? The government should have notified all the big players about a laptop ban. And give them a time of one year to prepare the manufacturing units. This would lower the impact on prices. And after one year the first ban should have been on the import of laptops followed by a notification. Notification about another ban on internal parts such as chips which would take place after another financial year. So, companies should develop their chip manufacturing plants in 2 years and initial manufacturing plants or so we call them assembling units within a year. However, this would not allow the government to get the license money but lower the burden on common people. Just an opinion.

manorinfinity Written by:

Complex Problem Solver, Outloud Thinker, An Outstanding Writer, and a very curious human being

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