India's total trade with China increased 28.6% from $89,714.23 million in 2017-18 to $1,15,419.96 million in 2021-22, the minister of state for commerce and industry Anupriya Patel says in Parliament.

In FY22, electrical machinery and equipment and parts, sound recorders and reproducers, and television sets accounted for the highest $30,726.25 million worth of trade, followed by nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances category at $20,907.33 million, and organic chemicals at $14,878 million.

Answering a question on the trade with China during the past five years, Patel says in the Lok Sabha that the government is taking measures to cut dependence on imports from the neighbouring country. Several trade remedial actions have been taken against Chinese imports to protect the domestic industry from serious injury against unfair trade, she says. Notably, since the Galwan clash in 2020, there have been calls from various quarters to cut imports from China.

For this, she says, the government has launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes in 14 sectors. These will make Indian manufacturers globally competitive, attract investment in the areas of core technologies, enhance exports, integrate India into the global supply chain, and cut dependency on imports, says the minister.

The sectors in which the PLI Scheme has been launched are key starting materials or drug intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients; large-scale electronics manufacturing; manufacturing of medical devices; electronic or tech products; pharmaceutical drugs; telecom and networking products; food products; white goods; high-efficiency solar PV module; automobiles and auto components; advance chemistry cell (ACC) battery; textile products; specialty steel; and drones and drone components.

Besides this, tech regulations have been framed for several products for the quality of imported products to check the import of substandard products, she says.

To promote Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, the government procurement portal GeM has also made it mandatory for sellers to mention the 'country of origin' on products they wish to sell through the platform. All e-commerce companies operating in India have to mention the country of origin of products being offered for sale.

On whether the government has taken any steps to impose a ban on Chinese products, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, in a separate reply in Parliament, says India has not imposed any country-specific ban on imports. However, the government has taken appropriate action including a ban on goods if these are found to violate these regulations or have implications for national security, he adds.

“India and China, are both members of the WTO (World Trade Organisation), and any trade restriction imposed must be WTO compliant,” says the minister.

To reduce dependence on imports, the union minister says the Centre has launched PLI schemes worth ₹1.97 lakh crore covering drug intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, telecom and networking products, and automobile and auto components, among others.

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