As per the latest statistics published by DGCIS, Paper Imports from China increased by 14 % to 2,89,000 tones in 2019–2020.
Facts of worry
- China boasts the world’s leading consumption and production of paper products. Indian paper industry was brooding over this fact as paper imports from China increased by 14% in the financial period, due to the conflicts between the two countries on the frontier and during the same period, total paper imports in India rose to 1.6 million tonnes by 11 percent.
- The paper mills jot down to the Centre that India’s paper import regime, need to be switched from “free” to “limited” to curb haphazard imports.
- Chinese and ASEAN paper manufacturers benefited access to affordable inputs and unprocessed material, and also obtain fiscal incentives in their countries.
- Permitting imported goods into India from such nations on either zero or at preferential tariff import duties does not provide a level playing field for home Indian manufacturers, “the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) indicated in a letter to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. It further added that “Imports should only be authorized on the basis of actual normal license’’.
- Imported products from ASEAN and South Korea under India-ASEAN FTA and India-Korea CEPA climbed by 18 percent and 9 percent during the year at zero import duty, respectively. Under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement, Chinese products import to India receive a preference advantage of 30 percent on most paper products.
Domestic production capacity underutilized
- As per IPMA president AS Mehta depicted that “In about the last nine years (between FY11 and FY20) the cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) in paper shipments to India is over 13 percent. It’s one of the maxima of all segments hit by an increase in imports “.
- He further said that imports from China increased by 14%, is a cause of concern “the spike in India takes place the time when India has ample manufacturing capacity which is presently underused”. Also, major paper mills in India were temporarily shut down due to being unfeasible, causing thousands of job cuts.
Need for adequate regulations
- Paper Industry is one of the key industrial sectors which supported the maximum amount of imports. IPMA has also advocated permitting imports only from one destination port in the nation so that imports are adequately regulated with regard to pricing, standard, and categorization.