People across India are demanding boycott of Chinese goods. File Photo

Amid reports of customs authorities at Indian ports conducting extra scrutiny and holding consignments from China much to the worry of Indian traders, RSS’ economic wing Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has said “for long-term gains, one needs to be prepared for some momentary discomfort”.

Talking to The Tribune, Ashwani Mahajan, the national co-convener of the SJM, said, “The pain will be momentary but will lead to long-term favourable situation and gains for the country.” 

“Besides, the government has not said it will not allow any Chinese imports. It only wants to help Indian manufacturers to produce more,” he said.

There was a bit of a controversy when following a representation that imported agriculture equipment consignments were delayed at ports Minister for Road Transports and Highways, Shipping and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari wrote to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal, seeking early clearance of consignments.

Later Gadkari said there was “no arbitrary stopping of goods” at Indian ports and the government was initiating path-breaking reforms to help MSMEs and businesses and make the country self-reliant.

He added that his concerns over stopping of goods at Indian ports were “purely context specific” and that he was among the strongest proponents of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

According to Mahajan, the Narendra Modi government is moving in the right direction through the self-reliant India plan and the decision to hold on shipments was also correct. 

“There has to be 100 per cent check on all aspects if India has to reduce dependence on Chinese goods, which are not just ruining the Indian industry but are also cheating consumers by way of their inferior quality,” said Mahajan.

“One part is increased dependence on Chinese goods, the second is complaints against the Chinese that they evade taxes through under-invoicing and misrepresentation,” he said.

“Many times the marking/details on the cover of the shipment is different from what it actually contains. All this requires thorough investigation. Many things cannot be investigated if it is life as usual,” Mahajan added.

“It is not impossible to displace Chinese goods. The government has also not said it will not allow Chinese goods. It only wants to help Indian manufacturers produce more and make India self-reliant. There will be a proper policy on imports. For now, holding shipments is essential otherwise no one will know what has been happening till now,” Mahajan pointed.


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