India works on strategy on import rules of non-essentials

January 04, 2020 - India

The Indian government is reportedly working to formulate technical regulations, including safety and quality standards, for over 350 products to cut imports of those non-essential items. The departments of promotion of industry and internal trade; telecommunication; chemicals; information technology and the ministries of electronics and steel were consulted.

The issue was widely discussed during an inter-ministerial meeting this month, a news agency reported.

The target is to formulate these regulations for about 5,000 products, but the focus now is on 371 items which accounts for $127 billion worth of imports.

The 371 items include textiles, chemicals, steel, consumer electronics, heavy machinery, telecom goods, paper, rubber articles, glass, industrial machinery, metal articles, furniture, pharmaceuticals, fertiliser and food.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has been tasked to prepare these regulations, the report said quoting an anonymous government official. India imports about 11,500 goods per year.

BIS has also been asked to set up market surveillance mechanism on technical regulations for imported goods.

India's imports have increased 9 per cent to $507.5 billion in 2018-19 from $465.6 billion in 2017-18.