The textiles ministry has asked the commerce department to take up the issue of Chinese garments sporting fake "Made in India" tags being sold in Nigeria, a senior official said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
"Garments with fake 'Made in India' tags are being sold in Nigeria," Textiles Secretary Rita Menon told IANS.
Recently, Nigerian authorities confiscated a shipment of drugs, with "Made in India" labels, which were found to have originated in China.
"We are aware of the unfair and unjust practice," Menon said. "This is a serious matter. We have written to the commerce ministry and they will take it up through the diplomatic channels with the concerned governments (Nigeria and China)," she added. "Let my minister meet the commerce minister first and then we will decide what we have to do."
Reacting to the development, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry said, "It is a cause for concern and we have to gauge its impact. China is the largest exporter of textiles, with 25 per cent of market share. We have just 4 per cent of market share. So they are a threat in the medium term."
According to the Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH), export of textiles and ready-made garments - cotton, natural silk, woollen and man-made yarn - to Nigeria virtually halved from Rs. 224.7 crore in 2006-07 to Rs. 119.2 crore in 2007-08 because of the fake Chinese products.
India's ambassador to Nigeria Mahesh Sachdeva has already alerted the commerce secretary about the consignment of Chinese-made medicines impounded in Nigeria with fake "Made in India" labels.
Subsequently, the Indian government lodged a strong protest with the Chinese embassy in New Delhi and also with China's foreign trade ministry in Beijing.