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29/05/2019 11:42am

FTA misuse hitting domestic industry and derailing Make in India

image FTA misuse hitting domestic industry and derailing Make in India

Kolkata, May 29 (KNN) The Process Plant and Machinery Association of India (PPMAI) has expressed concerns at surge of imports especially of metals and capital goods from countries including Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan with whom India has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

PPMAI represents the capital goods and process equipment manufacturing and exporting industry in the country,

Speaking at the Metals Conclave organized by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry here, Chairman of PPMAI, Yatinder Pal Singh Suri said, "The Free Trade Agreements (FTA) coupled with lack of reciprocity is adversely hurting the steel manufacturers as well as the capital goods industry FTAs are meant to increase bilateral trade.”

However, India's FTAs with ASEAN countries  and Japan have only resulted in increasing our imports of metals and capital goods with either stable or declining exports leading to the rising trade deficit, he added.

Suri asserted that despite several steps taken by government including imposing anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, quality control and anti-circumvention measures but the problem of surge in imports especially stainless steel, finished capital goods and other metals persists.

FTA should be a level playing agreement and not a one way street as it is currently prevailing. Currently all FTA countries are taking full advantage by exporting metals as well as finished capital goods into India but they are not importing metals and capital goods. In such cases, there has to be a quota system, said Suri.

He stated “We strongly propose that as long as the trade balance in a particular sector is in the range of +/- 30 per cent, it is fine but if the equation gets worse, the imports from FTA countries should not be duty free.”

"By allowing unlimited and unregulated access to Indian markets, we are actually killing potential for our domestic industry to grow and at the same time derailing the Make in India policy. To save our manufacturing industry in India we should have a fair and win-win agreement with these FTA countries “he pleaded.

He added,"GST quality control orders are steps to eliminate grey markets and use on non-standard stainless steel. Unfortunately there are gaps in QC order which is allowing use of nonstandard stainless steel for consumer wares which is as high as 55% of stainless steel usage in India. Why steel Ministry is not plugging the gaps in stainless steel Quality Control order to ensure only BIS certified products are used for all applications including consumer wares."

Tags: FTA, PPMAI, capital, goods, export, industry, trade, metals, GST, products, domestic, duty-free, quota system

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