By March 2020, India has decided to place stricter quality standards for importing of 371 items. This has been done with the aim of curbing imports of non-essential items such as toys, plastic goods, sports items, and furniture, especially from China. The proposed rules will be framed by respective ministries in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which will help in ensuring stricter inspection of imports. The new rules will be spearheaded by Union trade minister Shri Piyush Goyal.Trade between India & China and future plans:
i.The new rules will also be applicable to Indian producers so as to make the regulations World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant.
ii.China’s imports: Non-essential imports from China is estimated to amount $4 trillion per annum.
iii.Trade deficit with China: India’s trade deficit with China stands at $53.6 billion which was the main reason why India decided not to join Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
iv.Inter Ministerial meet: Piyush held interministerial meeting of commerce, industry, steel, telecom, heavy industries and electronics on December 23, 2019 to chart out a course of action to create reforms in the imports.
- Out of 371 items that are more likely to be restricted, 111 come under the department of chemicals and petrochemicals, 68 under department of heavy industries, 62 under the ministry of electronics and information and technology (MeitY), 61 under the industry department, 44 under the steel ministry and 25 under the telecom department.
v.Import standards set: At present 370 standards have been set for imports. The trade minister Goyal is in plan of creating 5000 standards in the second phase.
vi.Benefits: By placing such restrictions, Indian consumers will be able to get quality products. Cheap imports that are mostly toxic in toys will thus be reduced.
Official name- People’s Republic of China(PRC).
Largest city- Shanghai.
President- Xi Jinping.