India to set strict restrictions on non-essential imports from China

Ministry of Commerce and industry has announced that 371 items from China will get strict restriction from March 2020. The move aims at curbing imports of non-essential items such as plastic goods, toys, furniture, sports.

Highlights

The rules are to be framed by the Ministry in coordination with BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards). Though the rules focus on Chinese imports, it will also be applicable to Indian producers in order to make the regulations WTO-compliant.

Currently there are 370 standards for imports. India’s plan is to increase the it to 5000 in the second phase. The move will help boost the local industries and help Indian consumers get quality products.

The non-essential commodities imports include petrochemicals, chemicals, heavy industrial products, steel products, telecommunication, electronics, etc.

Apart from trade relation with China, India is also concentrating on FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with ASEAN, Japan and South Korea that enjoy free access to Indian markets. The step is being considered to boost domestic goods.

Significance

The imports from China that are categorized as non-essential amount to 4 trillion USD. Also, trade deficit with China is widening and it currently stands at 53.6 billion USD. The step will help in reducing India’s dependence on China and will also help in curbing low quality imports from China. This is the main reason why India refused to join RCEP.

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