Trade deficit with China worrying: Sitharaman
India's trade deficit with China is a matter of concern and the government is working for greater access of Indian goods and services into the Chinese market, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
"Trade deficit with China is a matter of concern. We are discussing the issue with China for greater access for Indian products and services in the Chinese market," Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during Question Hour.
Sitharaman said even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised the issue with the Chinese authorities at the highest level and the government was working to reduce the trade deficit with China.
The minister said China tops the list of 25 countries with which India has trade deficit in last three years.
The other countries with which India has trade deficit include Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and South Korea.
Among the countries with which India has favourable trade balance include the United States, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, United Kingdom besides others.
Sitharaman said the government has taken a number of steps to overcome the trade deficit which include New Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20), Merchandise Exports From India Scheme, the Services Exports from India Scheme, Niryat Bandhu Scheme etc.
She said India has exported merchandise and services worth $230.36 billion between December 2016 and May 2017 to various countries.
Of the total exports, in May alone, India has exported merchandise and services valued $37.44 billion, which is 4.40 per cent more than the previous month (April), she said.
Anti-dumping duty on China truck, bus radial tyres likely
The Commerce Ministry is planning to impose anti-dumping duty on import of truck and bus radial tyres with a view to guard domestic rubber players from cheap imports from China, Parliament was informed on Monday.
"As per information received from Rubber Board, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, imposition of anti-dumping duty on import of truck and bus radial tyres is under process with Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties(DGAD)," MoS for MSME Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary said in in Lok Sabha.
He was replying to a query whether cheap imports from China were hurting domestic rubber MSME sector. Chaudhary further said as per the information available from the board, rubber products including tyres enter India from China at a reduced duty, 8.6 per cent, under Asia Pacific Trade Agreement as compared to the basic duty of 10 per cent, causing surge in import from the neighbouring country.
Major rubber products imported from China are under HS Code 4011 (new pneumatic tyres) and HS Code 4016 (other articles of vulcanised rubber). Most of the products under HS 4016 are products manufactured by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
However, the minister informed that as per Directorate General of Safeguards (CBEC) "no study or investigation has been carried out to assess the impact of cheap products of rubber on India's MSME sector". Countries initiate anti-dumping probes to determine if the domestic industry has been hurt by a surge in below-cost imports.