New Delhi: Cosmetics, bags, toys, furniture, footwear, watches — these are part of a list of 450 categories of products made in China that will be boycotted by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) over “continued border skirmishes”.
Condemning China for its “military aggression” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, which led to the killing of three Indian soldiers Monday night, the CAIT said it has decided to aggressively step up its nationwide campaign to boycott Chinese goods.
The traders’ body Tuesday released a list of over 450 broad categories of commodities, which have over 3,000 Chinese products.
“CAIT strongly condemns China for their military aggression across the LAC in Ladakh wherein three Indian soldiers lost their lives. In the wake of these continued border skirmishes with China, the CAIT has decided to step up its nationwide movement against the boycott of Chinese goods, which was launched on 10 June under its campaign ‘Bhartiya Samaan-Hamara Abhimaan’,” said Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT general secretary.
“Taking the campaign forward, the CAIT today has released a broad list of over 450 broad categories of commodities to boycott Chinese goods and promote the use of Indian goods,” he added.
Apart from the CAIT, RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch has also been stressing on boycotting Chinese products and accepting local ones.
CAIT to raise issue with Piyush Goyal
Khandelwal said the national governance council of the CAIT has 200 top traders across the country as its members, and apart from that, there are state chapters too.
“We have 40,000 trade associations and a network of 7 crore traders and we will circulate this message and the list to all of them for action. We are also preparing a proposal for the government to look for manufacturing those items for which we have to rely on China,” Khandelwal told ThePrint.
The CAIT has also decided to raise the issue with Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.
“We will also urge the government to provide all kinds of assistance to small-scale industries, start-ups and other entrepreneurs of the country to manufacture those items, which are currently not included in the list of products that we are boycotting,” added Khandelwal.
He further said the main aim of this exercise is to reduce import of “Chinese finished goods by $13 billion or about Rs one lakh crore by December 2021”.
Reduce Indian’s dependence on Chinese goods
The list released by CAIT broadly includes everyday-use items, including FMCG products, consumer durables, toys, furnishing fabrics, textiles, builder hardware, footwear, apparel, kitchen items, handbags, cosmetics, electrical and electronics, fashion apparel, Diwali and Holi items, among others.
National president of the CAIT B.C. Bhartia said currently the import by India from China is about Rs 5.25 lakh crore i.e. $70 billion annually.
“In the first phase, the CAIT has selected more than 450 broad categories of items, which include more than 3,000 items that are made indigenously in India also, but succumbing to the temptation of cheap items, these were being imported from China until now,” he said.
Pointing out that manufacturing of the items included in the list does not require any sophisticated technology, he said, India is “well-equipped and, therefore, the goods manufactured in India can be used very easily in place of the Chinese goods, which will reduce India’s dependence on China for these goods”.
Khandelwal, meanwhile, said there are a number of items in India, which are manufactured by foreign companies based in the country, and so far those items have been kept outside the purview of the boycott.
“At present, we are stressing only on goods manufactured in China. We are also stressing on boycotting all types of Chinese applications,” he told ThePrint.
He added items that require “advanced sophisticated technology which India may not possess at present” have not been included in the boycott list.
“Because unless the alternative of this type of technology is developed in India or manufactured by a friendly nation of India, this would lead to a shortage (of the products) in India for the Indian consumers, which we do not want,” he added.