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India will provide a transition period before a new licensing regime for imports of laptops, tablets and personal computers comes into effect, a minister said on Friday, after the surprise move prompted calls for a delay.

The date has been announced now as November 1. 

In a shock decision, India on Thursday said it would impose a licensing requirement for imports of laptops, tablets and personal computers with immediate effect.

"There will be a transition period for this to be put into effect which will be notified soon," Deputy IT and Electronics Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter. Chandrasekhar's comments come after another government official told Reuters earlier on Friday that industry had requested a deferral of the new import licence order by three to six months.

The government in its notification on Thursday gave no reason for the action, which could affect technology companies such as Apple, Dell and Samsung and potentially see them boost local manufacturing.

The Deputy IT Minister had earlier said that the move to restrict imports was to "ensure trusted hardware and systems" and reduce dependence on imports.

India's Electronics and IT ministry said New Delhi will issue licences for companies to import laptops and tablets within two days. Licences can be obtained online.

To apply for the import licences companies will have to provide information on consignment origin, number of pieces and past import history.