Industrialists have to think out of the box and bring innovative and attractive products for the domestic market instead of cribbing about the invasion by the Chinese manufacturers, said Minister of State for Commerce (Independent Charge), Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday.

These remarks were made during her first interaction with industrialists at a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), when the latter complained about the dumping of low-cost Chinese products in the Indian market that included different types of Ganesha idols, electronics toys and dolls among others.

The Minister pointed out that even soap boxes and liquid tilak made their way into the Indian market. “We may be genuine in complaining. But why we have not thought about this market. Is it because it is unproductive? I may be harsh, but this is reality. When Chinese have identified our market, why you have not been able to do so? Think how much does it cost to reach India?” she asked. Ms. Sitharaman asked the businessmen to pick up at least 10 different products and compare it with Chinese products to ascertain the factual things and where we lacked.

When delegates complained that their views were not heard while framing rules, she said: “Please pound us with emails and letters. We will hear you and I expect it to be a two way.”

Earlier, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) delegates spoke in detail about revival of manufacturing, ease of doing business and infrastructure development. Leading the delegation, CII past President Venu Srinivasan said that manufacturing which accounted for 25 per cent of GDP has currently fallen to 15 per cent and several measures must be taken now to kick start it through comprehensive reforms, ease of doing business, land acquisition and frameworks, exports competitiveness.

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