The government on Thursday banned imports of air conditioners with refrigerants with a view to promote domestic manufacturing and cut imports of non-essential items. ”Import policy of air conditioners with refrigerants …is amended from free to prohibited,” directorate general of foreign trade said in a notification.The government is taking steps to promote domestic manufacturing and reduce import bill of non-essential goods.In June, the government imposed curbs on imports of certain new pneumatic tyres used in motor cars, busses, lorries and motorcycles. The move has come as a sentiment booster for the industry that has been bearing the brunt of the slowdown in the auto sector and disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Emboldened by the development, the tyre industry in India is looking at better than expected domestic production and increased exports from the country," ATMA Chairman K M Mammen said in a statement.He further said, "Domestic manufacturing capacity is ahead of the demand curve and India is self-sufficient in manufacturing practically all kinds of tyres including tyres for critical applications like fighter jets. Most of the imports are unwarranted and have been hurting capacity utilisation in domestic manufacturing."