Impact Of Coronavirus On Trade

Question by: Sanjay SadashivraoMandlik; Sudheer Gupta; ShrirangAppaBarne; Asaduddin Owaisi; Imtiaz Jaleel Syed


  1. whether Indian economy has started showing decline in the import duty received by the Government from Chinese goods due to impact of Coronavirus and if so, the details thereof along with the assessment made by the Government in this regard and the corrective measures taken/being taken for the same;
  2. whether it is true that India is heavily dependent on China for the raw material used in the manufacturing in the country and if so, the details thereof;
  3. whether the Government is searching for some other alternatives for the raw materials being imported from China and if so, the details thereof along with the steps taken in this regard;
  4. whether the Government is going to announce a set of measures to tackle possible disruption of supply of drugs and other manufactured goods due to Coronavirus outbreak in China and if so, the details thereof;
  5. whether any meeting has been held with the Industry players/businessmen and other stakeholders in this regard and if so, the detailed discussion held and the plan chalked out to address the concern raised by them; and

Answer by:Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance (Anurag Singh Thakur)

  • The import data from China for the period November 2018-February 2019 vis-a-vis imports during corresponding period in 2019-20 are as under:
    • Nov-18 to Feb-19- Rs. 1,61,067 crores
    • Nov-19 to Feb-20- Rs. 1,50,757 crores
  • There is a general trend of imports declining from China in the entire Financial Year.
  • As reported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, presently out of total electronics goods imports in the country, approximately 40% are from China and 17% from Hong Kong. These imports are largely in the nature of components that go into manufacturing of sub-assemblies and final products.
  • Due to recent outbreak of Coronavirus in China, there is an impact on supply of such components due to disruption in supply chain. However, the Government has taken various measures to contain the disruption in supply chain which includes:
    • Facilitating the industry to lift consignments from China to India after taking adequate health and safety precautions.
    • For exploring the sources of import of such components from other countries, the industry associations have been advised to organize buyer-seller meets to explore such avenues. However, in view of spread of Corona virus to other geographies, this has not materialized substantially.
    • Clarification has been issued to consider Corona virus outbreak in China or any other country as a case of natural calamity and Force Majeure clause may be invoked wherever considered appropriate.
  • To mitigate difficulties faced by trade and industry in the contextual situation, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs has directed all custom stations as well as testing labs to function on 24x7 basis till the end of May, 2020. The field formations have been advised to show greater sensitivity in dealing with cargo from affected areas and waive late fee arising due to delayed receipt of documents in genuine cases.
  • The Finance Minister of India has interacted with various stakeholders to discuss the problems being faced by trade and industry in the wake of spread of coronavirus in China.
  • Several issues were raised during the interaction requiring suitable action from different Ministry/Department/Agencies of the Government.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, September, 2020