India to take equal, proportional measures if other countries impose trade barriers: Piyush Goyal

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August 14, 2020 7:15 PM

On a question that MNCs in India are not taken as local vendors when it comes to participation in government procurement, the minister said problems come when such companies set up just "screw-driver" operations.

.Goyal also said that the government is looking at providing ‘plug and play’ infrastructure, faster clearances, more affordable finance and lower logistics cost to invite businesses to India.

India will take “equal and proportional measures” to protect domestic manufacturing if other countries continue imposing restrictions or barriers on Indian goods, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday. He also said that if some countries continue exporting low-quality goods or dumping products or routing exports through India’s free trade agreement (FTA) partners, India would take actions.

“Many FTA countries do not allow access to Indian goods, even though they are part of FTA protocols. They put non-tariff barriers or other restrictive measures. Gone are the days that India is going to sit and lie back and just take that…,” the minister warned.

He said India will have to plan its own measures whether it is by way of antidumping duty or some restrictions. “We will have to take equal and proportional measures to protect India’s domestic manufacturing.” The minister said while addressing the 10th meeting of Finland Chambers of Commerce in India.

Goyal also said that the government is looking at providing ‘plug and play’ infrastructure, faster clearances, more affordable finance and lower logistics cost to invite businesses to India. “We would like to be a preferred and trusted trading partner of countries engaged in global trade and countries that believe in transparent and rule based honest systems of government and I think Finland and India are best suited to work as partners,” he added.

The annual bilateral trade volume between India and Finland is USD 2.5 billion and it is “barely the tip of the iceberg” and if both the countries work together, “we can see a quantum jump in our business”. Replying to a question, he said India has rarely used export restrictions and for exports, import of raw material is allowed freely. Any import restriction is imposed after a lot of thought and if Indian goods do not get fair and equitable access in other markets, he added.

On a question that MNCs in India are not taken as local vendors when it comes to participation in government procurement, the minister said problems come when such companies set up just “screw-driver” operations. “Our current system is that we normally look at Make In India based on value addition. In some cases 20 per cent, and in some cases 50 per cent,” he said.

Referring to his interactions with auto companies on Thursday, he said if auto firms are importing components just to assemble cars and sell in Indian markets, which is big and growing, “then really you are not bringing in too much value to the Indian ecosystem”. He said that companies should do Make in India in true sense so that it adds significant value in the Indian manufacturing ecosystem.

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