India Reviewing Mandate to Buy Domestically-Produced Electronics

India will review a policy preference for domestically-manufactured electronic goods after business groups called for it to be withdrawn and companies raised concerns on procurement of security-sensitive products.

The so-called PMA policy will be recalibrated and presented to the cabinet, according to a statement posted on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s website yesterday. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology will submit the revised policy within four weeks, it said.

The American Chamber of Commerce in India, Japan Information Technology Service Industry Association and the U.S.-India Business Council were among 35 business groups that asked the government in April to rescind the policy, saying it may violate India’s obligations to the World Trade Organization if applied to private companies.

“Concerns have been raised in many quarters on different aspects of the PMA Policy, particularly policy relating to procurement by the private sector for electronic products with security implications,” according to the statement. “The revised proposal on PMA in the private sector for security related products will not have domestic manufacturing requirements, percentage based or otherwise.”

The new proposal will include a detailed provision for project and product sector specific security standards, alternative modes of security certification, and a road map for buildup of domestic testing capacity, the government said in the statement.

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