India is planning greater screening of copper and aluminium imports in a bid to curb the shipments of the two metals from China and other Asian countries to help the domestic producers, reports Hindu Businessline.
According to the report, as a first step towards tightening controls over imports, the importers may soon be asked by the officials to register with authorities. Under the plan, the importers would require permits for individual shipments of the two metals, government sources were quoted as saying.
Earlier last month, the Union Mines Ministry had sent a letter to the Commerce Ministry, in which the former had said that the move for greater screening was aimed at pushing economic self-reliance. The letter reportedly referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push to reduce imports and increase exports of value-added products.
In the letter, the ministry said that the purpose of the system was to have adequate information, so that appropriate policy intervention could be devised.
The increased surveillance will provide enough data to see what is being dumped into the country.
The aim of the greater screening would be to add copper and aluminium imports onto a restricted items list, which would require importers to get a government-issued license for every shipment, government sources were cited in the report as saying.
It should be noted that copper import from China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand accounts for 45 per cent of India's $5 billion imports for 2019-20.
Similarly, the government is also planning to put in place a mechanism to reduce aluminium imports, which mainly comes from China.
Around $4.4 billion worth of aluminium was imported to India in 2019-20, according to government data. China was the biggest supplier of aluminium to India, shipping over $1 billion worth of metal to India.
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