The Minister said though emphasis was being laid on sectors such as pharma, IT/ ITES, gems & jewellery, textiles, fruits & vegetables and meat to improve India’s exports to China, that country has been making efforts to stall India’s exports through non-tariff barriers such as phyto-sanitary stipulations and standardisation measures.
She made these comments during a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee (attached to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry) held in Goa to review India’s trade performance in the current financial year, an official statement said.
India’s merchandise trade deficit with China had shot up from just $1.1 billion in 2003-04 to a huge $48 billion in 2014-15, or around four times India’s shipments to China in the fiscal.
Ms. Sitharaman, who chaired the meeting, said she had spoken to her Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of G 20 wherein China was apprised of those action points, adding that the Chinese government had accepted India’s stand but had not implemented them.
During the meeting, Dinesh Trivedi, Lok Sabha member, said that most of the imports from China were consumer items and for ‘Make in India’ to be successful, China must be countered.
Jyoti Dhurve, also a Lok Sabha member, stressed the need for diversification in the export market to counter China.
Ms. Trivedi observed that the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ is still not happening and there was need to develop trust in the industry/ businessmen to make things easy for them.
Ajay Sancheti, Rajya Sabha member, highlighted the challenges posed by the rapid growth in e-commerce. He also raised the issue of import of tur dal, saying that there were a number of countries having abundant stocks of it which needs to be explored by the Commerce Ministry.
Ms. Sitharaman said the government was fully geared to meet the challenges stemming from the slowdown in the global economy.