The shutdown of factories in China due to the coronavirus outbreak may affect Indian industries like pharmaceutical, electronics and automobile which import components and raw materials from the neighbouring country, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the outbreak has led to restrictions on movement of people and business activities in many provinces of China, in order to control the spread of the virus. "The closure of factories in China may affect Indian industries, which import components, intermediaries and raw materials from China like the pharmaceutical, electronics and automobile industries," Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He said the government is engaged with Export Promotion Councils and trade bodies on assessing and addressing potential disruptions in their supply chains. The government is also in talks with the councils and trade bodies with missions abroad to secure and transport inventories available with the existing suppliers and find alternative sources of supply, he added.
"Indian Missions abroad have also been asked to explore the possibility of sourcing raw material for our production, in their respective countries," Goyal said adding several missions have shared the list of potential buyers/suppliers in their countries with the councils and agreed to facilitate B2B meetings.
Further, a committee has been formed by the Department of Pharmaceuticals to regularly review the availability of stock of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients)/KSMs (Key Starting Materials) and API-based medicines, and to suggest and enable suitable and appropriate measures for their management.
The minister is expected to meet on Thursday with all concerned stakeholders, including exporters, to discuss export and import opportunities emerging on account of the virus outbreak in China. According to a commerce ministry analysis, there are as many as 550 products where Indian exporters can plug global supply gaps.