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|February 23, 2001||Feedback|
Imports from China neutralised by exports: Survey
The government proposes to strengthen the Tariff Commission for an effective handling of the removal of the much touted Quantitative Restrictions (QRs) even as the impact of QRs lift on imports, especially from China, stands neutralised by exports, the Economic Survey 2000-2001 said.
''While imports from specific countries like China have increased, our exports have risen faster than these imports,'' the survey presented in Parliament said.
Imports from China in dollar terms increased by 17.9 per cent in 1999-00 and have increased by further by 28.2 per cent in the first seven months of the current financial year. Compared to this, India's exports to China increased by 28.2 per cent in 1999-00 and by 53.3 per cent during April-October, 2000.
''An analysis of imports share of selected countries does not reveal any such surge in imports,'' the survey pointed out.
All the same, the government will strengthen the institutional mechanism and give more teeth to the Tariff Commission so that it can play the role of an independent expert body to advise appropriate levels of tariffs as should be imposed on various items from time to time.
The government has also constituted an Inter-Ministerial Group under the chairmanship of the Commerce Secretary to assess the likely impact of removal of QRs and to suggest corrective measures.
The government has already done necessary adjustments in the tariff rates within the bound rates as temporary measures against any surge in imports on specific commodities and products. Besides, laying down of Indian quality standards and printing of retail prices in rupees for all imported goods has been made mandatory.
QRs refer to measures other than tariff or duties (for instance quotas, licences, canalisation) taken to restrict imports or exports. Although the multilateral trade rules in general prohibit QRs on importation or exportation of any product, the GATT provides exceptions to this principle. India has been maintaining QRs on imports on the ground of Balance of Payment difficulties and had initially committed to phase out these restrictions by 2003.
However, the USA had filed a case in WTO Dispute Settlement Body and India is made to remove QRs by April one, 2001.
While QRs on most of the items have already been removed, the import curbs on the balance of 715 items will go in April.