India worried at rising trade deficit with China


New Delhi  Compared to imports, India’s exports to  China have grown faster at 38.5% between April and September this year. India exported items worth $5.4 billion to  China compared to $3.9 billion between April-September last year.

 Imports from  China , however, have added to India’s worries with the country receiving items worth $42.9 billion from its largest trading partnercompared to last year’s $33.2 billion during the same period.

 This has further widened the trade imbalance in China’s favor by $37.5 billion, which stood at $29.3 billion last year during April-September period. The deficit has been primarily attributed to the massive shipments of electronics and pharmaceuticals from  China .

The overall trade deficit with  China narrowed marginally to $51.08 billion in 2016-17 from $52.69 billion in 2015-16, former commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman had informed the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session. India 's bilateral trade with  China stood at $71.48 billion in 2016-17.

The rise in India’s exports has come largely from three sectors: iron ore, cotton yarn & ferroalloys, all raw material and inputs that feed into  China 's manufacturing chain. In addition, the Indian government is looking at easier rules for export of agricultural products, including non-basmati rice, identified as an item of significant potential.

​India is reportedly planning to bridge the trade deficit by curbing imports and commerce minister Suresh Prabhu is taking measures to deal it sectorally, a Times of  India report said. It further adds that while it may not be completely possible to choke the flow of imports, the approach could control the unabated flow at least. 

For instance, in August, the Ministry of Electronics and IT directed 21 smartphone makers, most of which are Chinese, to inform it about the procedures and processes they follow to ensure the security of mobile phones sold in  India , following reports of data leakage and theft.

Experts in  India , however, are not enthused and say it may not work and instead backfire.

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