India can add $20 billion to its GDP if import dependence on China halved, says SBI Report

Mumbai: India can add $20 billion to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if the country can reduce by 50 per cent the dependence on imports from China by leveraging the production linked incentive schemes, an SBI research report said on Tuesday.

In terms of imports, India continued to reduce its trade deficit with China in FY21. However, share of China in India's total merchandise imports has been steadily increasing to 16.5 per cent currently, as per the report Ecowrap. In FY21, out of the $65 billion of imports from China, around $39.5 billion were commodities and goods where PLI scheme has been announced (textile, agri, electronics goods, pharmaceuticals & chemicals).

"If, because of the PLI scheme, we can reduce our dependence on China even to the extent of 20 per cent, then we can add around $8 billion to our GDP. Over time, if our dependence is further reduced by 50 per cent, we can add $20 billion to GDP," the report said.

In FY22 April-December period, there were 6,367 products with a total value of $68 billion (or 15.3 per cent of the total imports) imported by India from China. The report said it estimated the import dependence of each product on China by checking the share of Chinese imports in India's overall imports of these categories.

"The maximum aggregate value ($9.7 billion) is of the products in which our import dependence on China is between 50-60 per cent, although the number of products is lower.

"Although number wise the imports were highest in the category where our dependence was lowest (0-10 per cent), the value is not that high at around $1,894 million," the report said.

Further, it said most important imports for FY22 so far are personal computers and parts of telephonic and telegraphic equipment, electronic integrated circuits, solar cells, urea and micro-assemblies' lithium-ion and diammonium phosphate.

The items in the low value category are a mix of finished goods and intermediate inputs and India has a revealed comparative advantage in most of these imports, it said.

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