Indian Govt. is considering measures to prevent trade partners mainly in Southeast Asia from re-routing Chinese goods to India with little added value, two government sources said, amid strained ties with Beijing and a push for self-reliance. India is planning to raise quality standards of imports, impose quantity restrictions, mandate stringent disclosure norms and initiate more frequent checks at ports of entry for goods coming from many Asian countries, the officials said, declining to be named as they were not authorised to talk to the media. The moves will mainly target imports of base metals, electronic components for laptops and mobile phones, furniture, leather goods, toys, rubber, textiles, air conditioners and televisions, among other items, the officials said.
Last week, India’s trade ministry issued a notice to restrict inbound shipments of TVs by requiring importers to get a special licence. The moves are expected to primarily hurt Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore – members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with which India has a free trade agreement (FTA). India is also worried about heavy trade flows from South Korea.
The government will also discuss raising the value-addition requirement for products imported from those countries from the current level of 20-40%, the official said, adding FTAs could be reviewed too. “A lot of the Asian partners have become a place from where just Chinese goods are routed. We are going product by product to design various kinds of action, most of which will be on non-tariff lines,” the official added.