CHENNAI: The flooding of the Indian domestic market with Chinese goods happened partially because Indian businessmen failed to identify the potential of these markets, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Seetharaman said here on Saturday.
During a series of meetings with industry representatives here on Saturday — an interaction described as “refreshingly different” by the industry — Seetharaman said that it was all well and good that the industry asked the government to stop dumping. But, she pointed out, the fact remained that everything from household goods to ‘Ganesh Moorthis’ in the market were made in China.
“Why is it that Indian manufacturers did not get into these markets? All your assertions show me is that there is so much possibility. Why were the Chinese able to identify these markets and you weren’t?” she asked.
The MoS went on to say that it would help the government if the industry could take 10-20 examples of goods manufactured in India that are suffering because of competition from the Chinese in the domestic market and list out the subsidies and advantages that the Chinese enjoy and they don’t.
“Take 20, or even 10, examples and list out the things that the government doesn’t provide that the Chinese do. Make such a list and it would be helpful,” she said.
Seetharaman also addressed the perceived gap between Delhi and the South in terms of policy consultations by asking industry representatives to bombard the department with their representations. “Keep pounding us with emails and keep writing to us. I can assure you that I will be here regularly,” she said.
On the Goods and Services Tax, the minister stated, “We have started enough work on it and though I cannot give you a definite timeframe I assure you that the GST will come into effect soon.”
Almost all of the South’s important trade and industry bodies, including Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FICCI and the CII were consulted in Seetharaman’s maiden visit to Chennai as MoS of Commerce and Industry, prompting CMD of TVS Motor Company to state that he was looking forward to “a glowing future under the new government”.