Indian Imports from China increased – Trade Deficit increased over 10% YoY

Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman

Imports from China

Economies today across the globe are highly complex and interdependent. No economy can adopt a closed stance without adversely impacting its citizens in terms of meeting their needs. Imports address situations like shortage/ non-availability of item, price/quantity preferences of consumers etc. Within this framework, goods are imported into the country subject to all the laws/rules regarding protection of environment, ensuring quality, standards and national security.

Further, the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) lays down that whatever domestic Laws/ Rules/ Orders/ Regulations / Technical specifications/ environmental/ safety and health norms are applicable on domestically produced goods; the same shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to imports.


India has an elaborate and robust legal framework and institutional set up to protect its environment, life and health of its people, plants and animals. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has notified the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 for environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes.

The BIS standards applicable to domestic goods are also applicable to imported goods. For imported food and edible items, Food Safety and standards Act (FSSA), 2006 and Rules there under are also applicable.

The Government vide Notification GSR No.395 (E) dated 04.04.2016 has included plastic waste in the Schedule-VI of the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, and thus  the item is now prohibited for import.

Details of the merchandise imports, exports and the trade deficit with China during the last three years are given below:-

Bilateral Trade between India and China 2013-14 to 2015-16

Value in US$ Billion


Import Export Total Trade Trade Deficit


51.03 14.82 65.85 36.21
        2014-15 60.41 11.93 72.34 48.48
       2015-16 61.70 9.02 70.73 52.68

                                                                                                      (Source; DGCI&S)

Increasing trade deficit with China can be attributed to the relative demand for imports in India and China for each other’s goods. The major imports from China are products such as telecom instruments,computer hardware and peripherals, fertilizers, electronic components /instruments, project goods, organic chemicals and drug intermediates, consumer electronics, electrical machinery and equipment, iron and steel etc.

India’s export to China comprises of ores, slag and ash, iron and steel, tin and articles thereof, tools implements of base metal; raw hides and skins  and leather; plastics, organic chemicalsand cotton etc.

Efforts are continously  made to increase overall exports by diversifying  the trade basket with emphasis on manufactured goods, services,  resolution of market access issues and  other non-tariff barriers.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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