Indians make it at the top when it comes to celebrations; and Diwali is unarguably the biggest celebration that we hold as a community. Shopping is a big part of this festival and a lot of money changes hands during this time. However, since past couple of years, our money has been landing in China’s hand while our own artisans struggle to make ends meet or choose to abandon their ancestral vocation.
The indigenous industries like the handloom and handicrafts are on the verge of extinction. Despite such talent, we are witnessing a slowdown in growth rates of the small-scale industries.
India, a country of 1.25 billion people, is one of the biggest markets for consuming Chinese products. Nearly three-fourth of its imports are from China which has affected the MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) largely as the trade deficit has gone upto 48,474 million USD. The future of 11 crore people fed by 4.9 crore MSME units is shaded under black clouds.
Despite towering demand, the number of MSMEs has merely risen to 4.88 crore from 4.11 crore in the past five years, this can not be taken as a positive sign either. With growing population and low literacy rates, people of the nation are compelled to disassociate from MSMEs.
As the Chinese market with its cheap products overtake the world, the export rates from our country tumble. Increased import and decreasing export force the artisans to move to other geographical and professional domains. The benefits sown in our nations are reaped by others who value them. Be it electronics, ceremics, decoratives or glass, China has outperformed us everywhere. These products are flooding into our country and leading to trade deficit with China flourishing like never before.
India, a country of 1.25 billion people is one of the biggest markets for Chinese products. 74% of its imports are from China which has affected MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) largely as the trade deficit has gone upto 48,474 million USD. The future of 11 crore people fed by 4.9 crore MSMEs is shaded under black clouds. While the number of MSMEs have risen to 4.88 crore from 4.11 crore in the past five years, this can not be taken as a positive sign either. With growing population and low literacy rates, people of the nation are compelled but to incline towards MSMEs. The rise in the employment rate makes the things worse, because once the ill-effects start unveiling themselves, little opportunity would be left with the employees.
Despite all troubles, these skillful artisans contribute a significant per cent to the nation’s GDP but given the threatening competition of the cheaper and durable Chinese products, how long will that continue to happen? Owing to the same competition, Indian artisans have been forced to sell superior quality products at cheap rates. This has burdened their pockets and all they earn is now just hand to mouth. Encapsulating, what comes infront is that though the number of MSMEs and the employment rate has increased. Compared to the profit per cent and growth rate of Chinese market, India struggles to keep its industry alive.
To protect such industries, though laws like Reservation of Articles for Production Act, 1985 exist; it can’t be a one-man show. MSMEs contributing and putting a head to toe effort to increase exports with its own countrymen lying swayed by the foreign markets makes would yield nothing but an empty hand. Imposing anti-dumping duties is an appreciable step by the Indian government. The Director General of of Anti Dumping and Allied Duties states. Twenty five of the cases in which duty has been imposed are against China. The government has also made BIS certificates mandatory for certain products and has put restrictions on import of mobiles without an IMEI number. But, imposing duties alone, bereft of the focus on export increment and trade balance between Indian and Chinese markets would not be a viable solution.
Surely, the increase in Chinese imports is an alarming bell of an evil omen to Indian market. If not controlled, it might be the biggest reason of unemployment leaving 11.4 crore people to starve. Though government’s steps are in the right direction, citizens rather Indian consumers must also start realising that a personal gain of a few bucks is not greater than huge loss to the nation.