India has made sustained efforts to achieve balanced trade with China: Govt

The Indian government has made sustained efforts to achieve more balanced trade with China, including bilateral commitments to eliminate non-tariff barriers on Indian exports to China, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh told Rajya Sabha on Monday.

In a written response to an inquiry, Singh, Minister of State (Independent Responsibility) for the Ministry of Planning and Minister of State in the Ministry of Enterprise Affairs, said: “The government also has measures in the form of trade remedies (anti-dumping, countervailing duty, etc.) against unfair trade practices and formulated technical regulations and also issued quality control orders to check inferior imports.”

“Efforts have also been made to source critical supplies from alternative sources and to raise awareness among affected ministries to increase domestic capacities,” Singh said when responding to a question from Aam Aadmi Party MP Narain Dass Gupta .

Asked whether NITI Aayog has emphasized the need to reduce India’s dependence on China, MoS said: “NITI Aayog, as the Government of India’s leading think tank, has provided policy initiatives to support the Government of India’s goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat , including: promoting exports of goods and services, tackling the trade deficit, reducing India’s dependence on a single country for critical inputs, etc.

The minister’s response came almost a month after the unveiling of a note issued following SBI Research that indicated India was reducing its dependence on China for imports by 10 percent and increasing its gross domestic product over time by harnessing manufacturing approximately $6 billion in linked incentive (PLI) programs.

The production-linked incentive scheme, which is a flagship of Narendra Modi’s government, has been touted as one that would eventually make India a robust manufacturing machine and a credible alternative to China. The PLI programs have a total investment of US$21 billion.

In March 2020, India had announced the PLI programs in 14 sectors including automobiles, auto components and electronics under the Bharat “Aatmanirbhar” mission at a cost of Rs.1.97 crore.

The Government plans to extend the Rs 35,000 crore worth of PLI schemes to various sectors such as containers, electrolysers, power transmission equipment etc to ensure manufacturing investment remains high beyond FY26.

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