India Considers Import Duty Hike to Boost Domestic Manufacturing, Chinese Products to be Affected

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New Delhi (Sputnik): India had been trying to protect its trade turf. In a bid to aggressively correct its trade deficit, the country has taken a number of measures; it has withdrawn from the China-led 16-nation Free Trade Agreement and is renegotiating deals with South Korea and Japan, among other countries.

The Indian commerce ministry is planning to impose import curbs on 350 items which have been deemed “non-essential”.

The decision is set to impact Chinese imports, as the majority of the commodities targeted by the curbs are currently imported from China. The items include toys, electronics, and textiles, among others.

“The items for custom duty hike have been identified. Apart from the duty hike, quality checks will also be introduced,” a commerce ministry official said, adding this will help domestic industry.

In the first six month of this year, India's exports to China totalled $8.5 billion while imports stood at $36.3 billion. The trade deficit with China stood at $53.6 billion last year.

Electronic goods comprise at least 30% of Indian imports from China, worth around $20 billion annually.

The Indian government withdrew from China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) last month, owing to concerns over its impact on domestic industry.

Concerns have emerged regarding the Indian economy as the country’s growth has been in constant decline. In the third quarter of 2019, the gross domestic product dipped to 4.5% year-on-year growth, down from 5% in the second quarter. This is a steep fall from a high of 8.2% growth, registered in April-June 2018.  

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