In a major blow to China, the government has banned import of air conditioners in order to boost domestic production. In a notification issued by the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Thursday, split system and others ACs with refrigerants have been moved from "free" to "prohibited" category. The notification states that only the import of air conditioners with refrigerants is prohibited.
The import ban has been issued with the approval of Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal. Notably, the government, as part of its Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign, had earlier banned agarbattis, tyres, TV sets to keep a check on the entry of non-essential goods in India.
The domestic market of air conditioners is believed to be around $5-6 billion. The government aims to shift focus from importing ACs to manufacturing them domestically. Most ACs are currently imported in the country. The latest DGFT order is expected to provide a big boost for the domestic industry.
The Commerce Ministry's investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has also recommended anti-dumping duty for 5 years on Choline Chloride imports from China, Malaysia and Vietnam, following complaints by domestic manufacturers. Jubilant Life Sciences had approached the directorate on the issue of Choline Chloride imports from these countries.
Besides, India in August had also introduced an import embargo on 101 items to boost indigenisation of defence production in the country. Artillery guns, light combat helicopters, assault rifles, corvettes, radars, armoured fighting vehicles (AFV), transport aircraft are among the 101 Defence items that will not be imported from now on. All of these will be indigenously manufactured in the country to boost self-reliance.
The recent initiatives are part of India's plant to become self-reliant in manufacturing. The border tension with China along the Line of Actual Control has also fuelled anti-China sentiments and call for taking strict trade measures against the Chinese. As a result of this, India's imports from China have declined 27.63 per cent during April-August this fiscal to $21.58 billion over the same period the previous year, the Centre informed the Parliament recently.