The chief of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations said on Thursday that a ban on Chinese goods will not be feasible at present, because the country is heavily dependent on Chinese products, NDTV reported. “If China takes retaliatory measures, then India will lose more,” Sharad Kumar Saraf told reporters during an online interaction in New Delhi.
Calls to boycott Chinese goods began after 20 Indian soldiers were killed and 76 injured in a clash with their Chinese counterparts in Galwan Valley in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control, on June 15. The Confederation of Indian Traders Association, that claims to represent seven crore traders and 40,000 associations in India, released a list of more than 500 Chinese products to be boycotted. Products on the boycott list include fast-moving consumer goods, consumer durables, toys, furnishing fabrics, textiles, builder hardware, footwear, apparel and kitchen items.
On June 18, it was reported that the Railways had decided to terminate its contract with Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group, a Chinese firm that was to carry out work on the 417-km long Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay section. While Railway officials said that the contract was terminated due to poor performance, the action was taken just three days after the Galwan Valley clash. Also last week, the Centre decided to “firmly tell” the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited not to use Chinese equipment in its 4G upgradation, citing security problems.
But Federation of Indian Export Organizations Director General Ajay Sahai said on Thursday that Chinese goods help keep the price competitive in export items too. “We are against a blanket ban on Chinese products,” Sahai said. “We get key inputs from China, which makes out exports competitive. Banning Chinese products in an emotional situation will not be correct. A knee-jerk reaction is never right. Our economy will have to count the cost of such a move.”
Sahai said 50% to 60% of Indian exports go to China in the form of raw materials, which then processes it and exports it to other countries. Sahai said that India first needs to control the export of raw materials to China. He said the federation has told the Directorate General of Foreign Trade that India needs to take a “calibrated approach” on the matter.
After the border clash, demonstrations were also seen in several cities, including Delhi, in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and Surat cities, and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. People shouted anti-China slogans and called for a boycott of Chinese products at these protests. Videos of people smashing what appeared to be China-made televisions on a street were also widely circulated on social media.