Special Correspondent

Industry wants strict anti-dumping measures

NEW DELHI: Cheap Chinese imports are giving Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a tough time, particularly when the global economic slowdown and weakening domestic demand are affecting companies across sectors.

Chinese manufacturers, whose products are 10-70 per cent cheaper than Indian products, are offloading their products in India, reveals a survey conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Indian SMEs have asked the government to take strict anti-dumping measures to stop cheaper Chinese imports and save Indian industry. “Trade and industry have reported that with western markets losing their appetite for imports, Chinese manufacturers are increasingly looking at alternative markets to offload their wares. India is an obvious first choice in such a scenario given its geographical proximity and the fact that it is still growing at an appreciable 6.5-7 per cent rate,” the survey says.

A majority of Indian SMEs are feeling the heat in the domestic market due to rising imports from China. The industries that have been impacted by this “onslaught” includes processed food items such as honey; light engineering goods like power presses, welding machines and printing machinery; heavy engineering goods such as high speed diesel engines; chemicals and chemical products such as soda ash, ammonium chloride; and metal products like auto components, the survey points out. Interestingly, the price gap between the Indian and Chinese products is huge and difficult to explain.

Indian SMEs have urged the government to clear quality and safety norms for Chinese imports before being allowed to be marketed in India. “Immediate imposition of severe testing requirements on imports from China is a must as these include basic items of consumption and even vaccines,” the survey adds. In 2008 there has been a substantial rise in Chinese imports into India, almost 75 per cent, eroding the market share of Indian companies. Indian SMEs are apprehensive that as the Chinese government gives more incentives to boost exports, imports into India and other neighbouring countries would only go up.

To deal with the over the counter export subsidies that Chinese manufacturers enjoy, companies feel that the anti-dumping investigations for imports from China need to be beefed up and decisions taken at a quick pace.