To lift economy, rethink China trade, RSS affiliate tells Modi govt
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch says unrestricted flow of Chinese goods will kill India’s manufacturing sector.Updated: Oct 29, 2017 13:14 IST
The government should revisit its trade policy with China rather than relying on “cosmetic treatments” such as recapitalisation of banks to create employment and improve the economy, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has said.
The SJM, which is the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of ruling BJP, has been carrying out a year-long campaign against Chinese goods and has also opposed the government on economic issues such foreign direct investment, job creation and GM foods.
The government on October 24 announced a Rs 2.11 trillion rupees recapitalisation package to clean banks’ books and revive investment in a slowing economy.
But that is not enough for the SJM, which counts small businesses, shops, factory workers, farmers and millions of workers in unorganised sectors among its supporters.
Ahead of its Sunday rally in Delhi against China-made goods, the SJM came up with a wishlist, including a special package for the small and medium industries and anti-dumping duty on solar products from Beijing.
It also opposed a regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) e-commerce agreement being negotiated between India and 15 other countries.
As part of its campaign for boycott of Chinese products, the SJM has petitioned the government to ban the import of consumer products from that country.
It has cited China’s One Belt, One Road project that aims to create a new Silk Route and runs through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Beijing’s opposition to India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the recent Doklam stand-off as reasons to cut trade ties with the neighbour.
China is India’s largest business partner, with trade heavily tilted in its favour. The bilateral trade boomed to $71.45 billion in 2016-17 while the deficit widened to $51.1 billion over the past year despite repeated Indian calls for China to address the imbalance.
India’s trade deficit with China is about half the country’s overall trade deficit ($106 billion).
In an interview to HT on Friday, SJM national organiser Kashmiri Lal said by allowing unrestricted flow of Chinese goods, the government was setting the stage for the collapse of India’s manufacturing sectors.
“Cheap consumer goods have flooded the market, dealing a blow to the manufacturing sectors that were the largest employment giving sectors. Now, we are encouraging FDI from China, which is the most dangerous,” he said.
Lal, said the government will need a firewall against e-commerce at RCEP, or it will hit India’s small retailers.
“Big e-trading portals are not limited to supply chain services alone, they are driving the demand and even getting into production,” he said.
The RCEP is a regional trade agreement being negotiated between 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, better known as Asean, and India, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
The government, Lal said, should announce a special package for micro, small and medium enterprises as well as the agriculture sector.
It should also address the concerns of the small manufacturing units about the anomalies in the good and services tax, he said.
First Published: Oct 29, 2017 12:44 IST