piyush goyal: Pharma, auto, electronics may get hit due to Covid-19: Piyush Goyal


New Delhi: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Friday told Rajya Sabha that the disruption in business activities in China may have an impact on Indian industries such as pharmaceuticals, automobile and electronics industries, which depend on China for supplies of raw materials, components or intermediate items.

He said the outbreak of coronavirus and cancellation of two prestigious diamond exhibitions in Hong Kong are few of the key reasons for decline of exports of polished diamond and diamond Jewellery.

In a separate reply, he said the impact of those disruptions would vary across companies depending upon their ability to find alternate sources at competitive rates. This in turn would determine their pricing strategy. As per the information available, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has not received any reference regarding sudden increase in the price of Paracetamol by 40% and Azithromycin by 70% in the country.


US trade

To a question on whether the government has been considering to permit/has permitted proposed entry of American products into Indian dairy and poultry market before the visit of American President Donald Trump, Goyal said the government has not taken any such decision prior to the recent visit of the President. Moreover, poultry and poultry products are being imported from the US into India, based upon a mutually agreed veterinary certificates, since 2018.

“However, trade related issues are a part of any ongoing economic relationship, and will continue to be discussed and addressed as a part of the regular bilateral trade engagement between India and the US,” he said. The decisions are taken in the larger public interest after consulting the stakeholders concerned.

FTA impact

An internal assessment of India’s bilateral trade pacts with Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Bhutan, Nepal, Republic of Korea and Malaysia reveals that the cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) in trade with these partners over the last 5 financial years was 7.1%. While there has been growth rate in both imports from and exports to these FTA partners, the utilization rate of FTAs both for India and its partners has been moderate.

An analysis of preferential import data for some of these agreements indicates that the FTA utilization rates have been moderate to high in the case of some sectors like iron and steel for the India Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and India Japan CEPA. Plastics in the case of India Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and auto-motives in the case of India Malaysia CECA.

Pakistan trade

As per provisional data, the value of India’s exports to Pakistan amounted to $761.86 million in the period April 2019 to January 2020 as compared to $1768.79 million in similar period in 2018-19, showing a decline of 57%.

SEZ approval

Between April, 1, 2008 and February, 29, 2020, the Board of Approval (BoA) on SEZs on request of SEZ Private Developers, has approved 101 cases of de-notification of SEZs, subject to the refund of all duties and tax benefits availed by the SEZ Private Developer and on receipt of ‘No-objection’ from the concerned State Government. The reasons given for these request for de-notification include poor market response, lack of demand for SEZ space and change in the fiscal incentive regime for SEZs, among others.

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