Indian exporters are fearing retaliatory 'delay' in clearances of their consignments in Chinese ports if the complaints of goods of Chinese origin facing additional inspection in Indian ports - and hence delay in clearances - are not addressed at the earliest.
Sharad Kumar Saraf, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said the association has requested Commerce Ministry to come out with an official clarification to make it clear that India has not resorted to any such blanket move to targets goods from China.
In an online interaction, Saraf said the association made the request after there were reports of Chinese consignments being subjected to additional inspections - first in Chennai port, and then other ports as well - on the basis of some verbal communication that expressed doubts over the presence of contraband goods among the merchandise that is originating from China. "The government has informed us that there has been no such order. Things should settle down in a couple of days," Saraf said.
It was on June 22, the customs brokers association of Chennai port issued an advisory to its members over the delay that is happening due to 100 percent inspection of consignments that are originating from China.
Saraf said any knee jerk attempt to stop Chinese imports is not advisable. "We need to be extremely cautious with banning products from China as it may not be feasible", he said.
India had imported $70 billion worth of goods from China in 2018-19, almost 14 percent of its overall goods import worth $514 billion that year. The country is dependent on China for electronic and electrical machinery and equipment, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, etc. As part of its attempt to be self-reliant the government has been encouraging local production in some areas like electronic goods and pharmaceutical raw materials also.