राष्ट्रीय स्वदेशी सुरक्षा अभियान
While teaching history lessons, the teacher asked the pupils: “When did our Bharat get Independence?”
The students answered in chorus: 15th August 1947.
“At what time?”, asked the teacher…
“Exactly at 12 midnight”, replied the students at ease.
The teacher then asked: “Ok! Good. When did we lose Independence?”
This time, the children were perplexed by the question and none of them could answer!
What a pertinent question in today’s scenario! Truly, it is difficult for anyone of us to pin point a date on which we lost out independence.
The process of losing a country’s independence begins from the time when it starts losing its economic independence. Trade and commerce play a vital role in the economic wealth of every nation. History reminds us that these trade imbalances in the past had forced India to accept foreign rule.
De-Globalisation imperative: Self-reliance & economic Sovereignty
Today, the world is witnessing the rise of a new America, which is trying to protect its interests more vehemently and more systematically by way of local hire policies and visa restrictions, “Be American-Buy American” and “America First” sentiments. It is walking out from international agreements, such as Paris Climate Change in keeping with the interests of its country.
There was sub-prime crisis; there were fears around disintegration of European economy post the “Brexit”, technology shifts, and the new developments after Donald Trump’s victory. The “JOBLESS GROWTH” due to automation and mechanization is evident in the fact that jobs are being displaced despite the expansion and integration of economies. The “de-globalisation” seems to be the new paradigm heading towards bilateral trade of pre-globalisation era.
Is “Protectionism” still a bad word?
Not anymore! The America’s new regime is the latest example with their overhaul of immigration policies and new visa restrictions on movement of skilled labour, import restrictions, etc. The disintegration of European Union and post “Brexit” economy, all’s not well in the so called ‘Developed’ liberal countries. The world has woken up to the new international game of “SURVIVAL”.
Ironically, when the realization dawned upon the world community that the rules of the game are unjust, we still fail to wake up to see the new world order!
The rise of Bharat and other Asian economies is causing panic in the geographies where free trade was once preached and propagated. The West is worried about the “China price” which has become the biggest global threat to many countries including USA, Europe and India.
On 24th July, 1991, Dr.Manmohan Singh through his Union Budget declared the liberalization and free-trade policies and subsequently India joined the WTO in 1995 for full economic integration with the rest of the world. (China in WTO since 11 December 2001).
The process of Globalisation started in India in the year 1991. India has suddenly opened the macro-economic flood-gates to join un-calibrated Globalisation, without any debate in the Parliament or in the public discourse, after decades of Socialism slumber. The then Finance Minister in 1991, Dr.Manmohan Singh in P.V.Narasimha Rao Government was hailed as the architect of Free Market Economy or Globalised Economy in India. In 2016, the policy of Globalisation in India completed 25 years. It is a reasonably long time to evaluate India’s experiences with Globalisation. During this period of 25 years – 1991-2016, we have conducted and completed many years of planning under Planning Commission and also recently introduced a new system called NITI Aayog.
The broad Parameters for evaluation of economic growth over this 25 year Globalisation period are set by Dr.Manamohan Singh himself. In his first broadcast to the Nation as Prime Minister on 24th June 2004 (UPA Government) , Dr. Manamohan Singh told: “Growth is not an end in itself. It is a means to generate Employment, banish Poverty, hunger and homelessness and improve the standard of living of our people. It must also be environmentally sustainable.” The success or failure of the Globalisation Policy can be evaluated with reference to our achievement in the goals of,
a) Employment Generation,
b) Eradication of Poverty, (Hunger & Homelessness),
c) Improvement in the standard of living of people,
d) Environmental sustainability of Growth.
After completing 25 years of its economic integration and embracing the West, India is now witnessing a new world order of “de-Globalisation” and reinforced “protectionism” from the same countries who gave us wisdom on capitalism, preached and promoted Globalisation!
In the face of LPG transformation (Liberalization, Privatisation and Globalisation) that went on for the past 25 years, India has witnessed economic downfall w.r.t industry and manufacturing sectors.
Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) headed by Mananeeya Late Sri Dattopant Thengadi – “Rashtra Rishi”, as we revere him, had forewarned this global meltdown and the imminent threat from China’s economic invasion. He was one of the well-known exponents of Swadeshi movement, which has reappeared five decades after India attained freedom, in the face of a sudden onset of un-calibrated Globalisation.
Swadeshi Jagaran Manch is a “movement” and not an organization
Historically, India has been viewed as being far less vulnerable to global financial crises than other large economies because, it was much less integrated with the global economy than countries like, say, US or China. Today, the growing “Trade-GDP ratio” (indicator of Globalization) indicates the opposite as true. The World Bank data shows that this ratio was around 20% in 1995 and has increased to over 44% in 2015. This was higher than the trade to GDP ratio of the US, Japan or China. During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, India escaped relatively unscathed. However, this will become more complex and challenging in the days to come, if we do not increase the domestic demand and purchasing power locally.
On one side, we are witnessing the downfall of free trade economies that have impacted India and the rest of the world. On the other, India is economically challenged by China and also politically flexing its muscles w.r.t Arunachal Pradesh and North-East Bharat.
Indian Armed forces are on an eternal vigil safeguarding our borders and protecting us from China threat geographically, while economically, it is incumbent on every citizen to secure the internal security of the nation by exercising our duty at an individual level.
India has signed various international treaties since independence and bound to it’s moral and legal obligations. The decades of such treaties and agreements which are against country’s interests cannot be called off at one go. Hence, the recourse to working away with such difficult treaties is for the citizens of the country to join hands. Only questioning the government or delegating the responsibility of blocking the Chinese imports is not sufficient but we need to boycott/shun China’s products and reject their economic invasion and support our National interests at individual levels and organization levels. As the saying goes, Democracy is “by the people, for the people and of the people” and “People’s Jurisdiction” is the ultimate authority in accepting or rejecting the goods.
Hence, the only viable recourse to enable the government in policy formulations is to boycott en-mass all the Chinese products. This will indirectly help the government to take appropriate measures to safeguard our national interests in saving and creating millions of jobs.
History is replete with examples of revolutions being brought about by commoners. No task and service however small, is unimportant like the little squirrel and Vanaraas who helped Maryada Purushottam Sri Rama, Mavali tribal warriors specialized in guerrilla warfare helped Shivaji, Rana Pratap teaming up with Bhills to oust Mughal invaders, Chanakya raised Chandragupta from being a commoner into becoming emperor to protect Bharat Varsh and Dr.Hedgewar who built a gigantic organization like RSS only with few Swayamsevaks…!!
“A small number of people who are a ‘creative minority’ make values live in this world”- Arnold Toynbee.
Let us all come together and participate in this Swadeshi Suraksha against China’s economic aggression.
चीनी वस्तु बहिष्कार करो – बोलो वंदे मातरम
China is using its currency “Yuan” to combat risk of a market-meltdown. It has been using “currency manipulation” (daily currency fixing) as an insurance policy against a full-scale market meltdown. A sharp selloff in China’s stock market, a surprise currency devaluation and a persistent slowdown in economic activity have raised doubts about the ability of China to maintain the hyper-growth levels of the past two decades.
Strike when the iron is hot. The time has come for India to take on China, as China is now experiencing many economic and political challenges from within as well as neighboring countries while going through the crisis of market melt-down. This market melt-down was analysed by many Indian and foreign media. “India Today” magazine carried a special issue with cover page “China Meltdown” highlighting how India can take advantage of that situation.
We as Indians must support and purchase indigenous Indian-made products and boycott the products of China in particular. There was a similar movement sometime back on Social Media (through Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp) during the festive season of “Deepavali”, to boycott “Chinese-made crackers” and purchase only Indian-made crackers (brands such as Sivakasi). There was overwhelming response that had forced China to withdraw its cheap crackers from the market, which were illegally dumped in Indian market. This movement has also enabled the present Indian government to ban Chinese crackers. China could not put any pressure on the Indian government against this successful campaign.
It is imperative for India to become “self-reliant” once again and strive for the economic sovereignty. Swadeshi Jagaran Manch therefore, calls upon all the citizens of Bharat to participate in “Rashtriya Swadeshi Suraksha Abhiyan”, an economic freedom movement paving the way for India’s economic independence and counter the economic invasion by China (“Vitteya Aakraman”).
This effort requires coming together of all nationalists – political parties, associations, trader communities, farmers, economists, academicians, students, labour organizations and all Swayamsevaks of social and voluntary organizations to work in this awareness campaign and counter China’s economic aggression. We can start the campaign by first educating each and every household, about the ill-effects of Chinese goods that have encroached stealthily into our daily life.
This Abhiyan is scheduled to begin from 6th – 20th, August 2017 and will be conducted at various forums, Schools, Colleges, Hostels, individual houses, apartments, Professional associations (CA, Doctor, Engineers, Lawyers, hoteliers, trader communities) to collaborate and spread the message of Swadeshi and Swavalamban with emphasis on boycotting / rejecting China goods at all levels (micro and macro).
India has trade deficit with 27 countries
India’s top trading partners: at a glance
Source: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dept. of Commerce, Government of India; Wikipedia.
Balance of Trade with China:
If the countries’ exports are more than the imports, then that economic situation is called as “Favorable Trade Balance” (a.k.a “Trade Surplus”). On the other hand, if the countries’ imports are more than the exports, then it is called “Unfavorable Trade Balance” (a.k.a “Trade Deficit”).
There is a growing trade imbalance in terms of excess of imports over exports to China. As per the data available, there is a steady increase in India’s trade deficit with China. The trade volume has reached to almost 50% only with China compared to the whole of India’s international trade.
Import of Capital goods
Though, India’s economic relations with China dates back to ancient times, the bilateral trade with China in the globalised world has only started in 1991. In a short span of time, the trade between the two countries has grown to such an extent that China became India’s largest trading partner in 2008. This has picked up only since 2001, but how come China has turned out to be largest trading partner within just decades?
The capital goods imported from China alone amounted to USD 150 billion plus. India’s import from China is three times more than its exports to China. The UPA government had eased customs and excise tariff to facilitate their entry into India with the least fiscal resistance and consciously ran current account deficits of USD 339 billion. This means what? – To that extent India has lost its wealth to other nations. Who gained from India’s loss? Not America, nor England, Germany, France, Japan, or Russia – countries friendly to India. But it is China. From 2006, year after year, it has been the single biggest beneficiary of India’s import orders.
Bharat is very good market for capital goods. Infact, the whole of Europe put-together is less than the size of Bharat, the third largest economy. The import of capital goods raising such large bills of hundreds of billions, most of which Bharat could make in its own backyard, has drained out a third of India’s GDP under nose of the UPA Congress’s regime in just a decade. The UPA Congress was therefore the architect of the huge deficit syndrome with China!
Why China is our biggest threat?
China behaves like a friendly nation on the surface, while cunningly shows military and economic aggression all along. On the other hand, China shares deep friendly relations with Pakistan, which is another enemy country of India, which is perpetrating terrorism through “proxy-war” across the border day-in & day-out. Infact, China has always behaved as an enemy country since 1949 when they became a communist nation. While China supports Pakistan directly, it is covertly attacking India through economic invasion (“Vitteya Aakramana”).
For the last 10 years, on many occasions China has opposed anti-terrorism laws on the proposition at United Nations. It has blocked India’s entry into NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) – a group of supplier countries of nuclear material such as Uranium. China has also obstructed the flow of Brahmaputra water flowing into India, and also aggressively pursuing infrastructural projects in Pak-occupied Kashmir with its expansionist attitude. Many a times, it has violated border agreements by trying to encroach through incursions and behaving like an enemy country. Hence, there is absolutely no doubt that China is India’s biggest enemy.
India’s border with China:
India had “zero Km” of border with China in 1947. Today, India’s border with China is 3,488 Km (with Tibet & Xinjiang) as per the Ministry of Home Affairs website.
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a demarcation line that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese controlled territory. Upon independence in 1947, the government of India used the Johnson Line as the basis for its official boundary in the west, encompassing “Aksai Chin”. However, India did not claim the northern areas for including in India’s territory. On 1st July 1954, Prime Minister Nehru wrote a memo directing that the maps of India be revised to show definite boundaries on all frontiers. Upto this point, the boundary in the “Aksai Chin” sector, based on the Johnson Line, had been described as “un-demarcated”).
As per the records of Ministry of Commerce, China’s export of goods to India is worth Rs. 4.25 Lac Crores approximately. However, everyone knows that some of the products that have been exported from China are unaccounted, which do not carry proper bills, and the goods that have been billed seems fake. It is estimated that the real exports from China to India amount to more than Rs. 6, 00,000 Crores, while our exports to China is a mere Rs. 60,000 Crores which is ten times less than our imports!
As of now, India’s import bill from China is so high that we do not have this scale of supply from any other country. Because of China’s cheap quality products being dumped at a low price, it has destroyed many Indian Small Scale Industries leading to more than one Crore unemployed.
By increasing consumption of China products, we are not only strengthening their economy but also decreasing our currency value. It is high time we wake up and realize that China which has always behaved as an enemy country, has to be boycotted, shunned and their products be restricted, else our economic and job creating sectors will be affected to an extent that they cannot be revived, which is a serious matter.
China’s Economic Invasion:
China’s military and strategic aggression against India is visible to the whole world and makes news instantly and frequently. However, its economic aggression is much more dangerous.
Until 1991 when India’s liberalization policies were started, India’s bilateral trade with China was minimal, bore no consequences and was insignificant. But in last the 25 years, our economic relationship with China has sky-rocketed so much so, that by 2011 China has become India’s largest trading partner and it continues to dominate our economy. The bilateral trade balance was a paltry USD 265 million in 1991 which has crossed USD 70.73 billion by 2016. India’s current bilateral trade with China is larger than its combined bilateral trade with Britain, Germany and Japan.
Increase in Trade Deficit
Importing in excess to one’s Exports is called “Trade Deficit”. A country facing the challenge of huge trade deficit will lose exchange powers in the international market. In this scenario, between China and India, China is immensely benefited, whereas India is in a frightening situation. India has been facing this challenge of trade deficit with China for quite some time now. The trade between India and China is drying up to India’s disadvantage. The trade deficit of such a magnitude is a matter of high concern for India.
In 2001-02, India’s trade deficit with China was a mere 100 Crore USD. In 2015-16, this has reached USD 5300 Crore. From the table below, we can see how the Trade Deficit with China has increased under the UPA regime.
As we can see from the table, under 10 years of UPA rule from 2004-05, what started as 9 hundred Crore USD deficit, has reached 3900 USD which is four times increase!
During this period, the total trade deficit was 204 hundred Crore USD. (If there is Trade Surplus (i.e, if Exports > Imports), then the country’s wealth is considered to be increased, which will reduce the trade deficit subsequently).
Since 2006-2014 under UPA government, India’s wealth has reduced by a total of 204 hundred Crores USD (i.e, 9+16+23+19+28+39+39+31). In other words, we have increased India’s principal enemy’s wealth by 204 hundred Crore USD.
Under NDA rule in the first year, in 2014-15, the trade deficit has touched 48 hundred Crore USD. Finally, it has reached 53 hundred Crore USD, a maximum until 2015-16!
Flood of Chinese goods into Indian Market:
In the last 10 years, China’s goods are being flooded into the Indian market in the name of low price, which is world famously known as “China price”. Knowingly or unknowingly, the Chinese goods have been creeping into our households in every aspect and product category, so much so that even “mosquito-racket” market is monopolized by China, which by the way is neither reliable nor eco-friendly. Because of the “China price”, the local vendors are unable to compete. Basic household items like battery torch, pen pencil, kitchen utensils, and plastic toys. Some of these products like Shirt buttons, belts, photo frames, knives, scissors, idols of Ganapathi, Budha, Kite threads are smuggled into India via Nepal.
As a consequence of all this, the enterprise of Sivakasi crackers in Tamilnadu, the enterprise of Aligarh Lock industry in Uttar Pradesh, the toys and idols industry in Channapattana of Karnataka and lacs of dependent families and skilled laborers of these industries have become homeless. Also, the enterprise of component manufactures of Electronics and Power industries, Silk industry (“Reshmi”) in Rama Nagara of Karnataka, have also reached the stage of closure. This is leading to cessation of small scale industries. Under the stringent directives of judiciary, Gujarat and many other state governments have notified the ban on use, sale and purchase of Chinese “Manja” for the kite-flying which is made of razor sharp nylon thread and plastic/synthetic material. The court has issued directions to take necessary steps to prohibit manufacture, use and sale of synthetic kite flying thread like ‘Chinese manja’.
The “Automobile Tyre Manufacture Association” (ATMA) has asked government of India to impose “anti-dumping” duty on Chinese made radial tyres, expressing the concern that India’s tyre industry may close down affecting the whole automobile industry. Kerala cultivates natural rubber; hence that industry will also be affected heavily because of Chinese tyres. Similarly, Steel pipes manufacturing sector has also been affected by China products.
“Unfair Trade Practices” and WTO
China is selling the products at subnormal and “predatory price”– in other words for losses! This is called “dumping” in the macroeconomics parlance which is also WTO terminology. If a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges on its own home market, it is said to be “dumping” the product, which is considered as “unfair competition”.
Many governments take action against dumping inorder to defend their domestic industries and economic sovereignty. In India, the concept of Unfair Trade Practice draws a parallel from the previously applicable Monopoly Restrictive Trade Practice (MRTP) Act, 1969 which has been replaced by the Competition Act, 2002 and multiple times amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act in the years 2007, 2009, 2011 to discipline the Predatory pricing, Cartel, M & A (Merger & Acquisition), etc.
However, for the governments to challenge the companies against dumping with “anti-dumping” duty, the WTO legal procedure is very complex and tedious. The products being dumped have to be sent to laboratories for tests; the actual product price has to be evaluated by gathering data on production costs at source and the whole cost-benefit analysis worked out. The WTO agreement does not pass judgment. Its focus is on how governments can or cannot react to dumping — it disciplines anti-dumping actions, and it is often called the “Anti-Dumping Agreement”. The WTO agreements mandate to uphold the principles, and also allow exceptions in some circumstances. Three of the issues are:
- actions taken against “dumping” (selling at an unfairly low price)
- subsidies and special “countervailing” duties to offset the subsidies
- emergency measures to limit imports temporarily, designed to “safeguard” domestic industries.
There are many different ways of calculating whether a particular product is being dumped heavily or only lightly. The agreement narrows down the range of possible options. It provides three methods to calculate a product’s “normal value”. The main one is based on the price in the exporter’s domestic market. When this cannot be used, two alternatives are available — the price charged by the exporter in another country, or a calculation based on the combination of the exporter’s production costs, other expenses and normal profit margins. And the agreement also specifies how a fair comparison can be made between the export price and what would be a normal price.
Calculating the extent of dumping on a product is not enough. Anti-dumping measures can only be applied if the dumping is hurting the industry in the importing country. Therefore, a detailed investigation has to be conducted according to specified rules first. The investigation must evaluate all relevant economic factors that have a bearing on the state of the industry in question. If the investigation shows dumping is taking place and domestic industry is being hurt, the exporting company can undertake to raise its price to an agreed level in order to avoid anti-dumping import duty.
Detailed procedures are set out on how anti-dumping cases are to be initiated, how the investigations are to be conducted, and the conditions for ensuring that all interested parties are given an opportunity to present evidence. (Source: Understanding WTO Agreements)
The government is bound to WTO and any action taken based on the above laws and procedures has limitation. In democracy, “People’s Jurisdiction” is the ultimate authority in accepting or rejecting the goods. The “consumer” plays a vital role in the nation’s economics discourse. If we as consumers are convinced, we can always reject the products. This will empower the government to reconsider its policies and convince the WTO of the same.
America: America too is facing the similar threat from China. China can produce many consumer goods for lower costs than other countries can. Americans ofcourse like any other country want these goods for the lowest prices. How does China keep prices so low? Most economists agree that China’s competitive pricing is a result of these factors:
- Strategy of “Export at any cost” (in other words for losses!)
- Low standard of living, which allows companies in China to pay lower wages to workers.
- Exchange rate that is partially fixed to the dollar.
This means that many American companies cannot compete with China’s low costs. As a result, US-manufacturing jobs are lost. From time to time, legislators try to impose tariffs or other forms of trade protectionism against China to bring back the jobs.
There is a famous book titled “A Year Without Made In China: One Family’s True Life Adventure In The Global Economy” authored by Ms.Sana Bongiorni – an American home maker. The book has become the best seller across the world.
China is selling its sub-standard goods at such low prices that people are attracted to buy them. This has led to large scale, medium-scale and small-scale industries to shut down. This inturn leads to China acquiring “monopoly” status in Indian market. Once China monopolizes the market, it can play with the “pricing” strategy to their advantage. Once the Indian industry closes completely sector by sector, then the Indian economy becomes weak, which is what Chinese want.
There is another reason why China is selling its goods at subnormal prices. China is a communist country where there is no democracy, no fundamental rights for people and “Free Press” unlike India, and the government forcibly buys land from the farmers by paying very less compensation and sells it to manufacturing industries. In China, Right to Land is a contractual management for limited period. Farmers are exploited; Agricultural laborers/workers have no rights and hence are paid minimal wage and made to work in double shifts as bonded laborers; even prisoners are made to work in the factories. By doing so, they are managing to keep the daily wages minimal thus saving labour costs. Along with his, they are providing electricity to the industries at a very low cost. They also make sure their currency “Yuan” stays at minimum all times – this is called as “Currency manipulation”.
These are the some of the short cuts that China’s communist government manages the pricing to be low compared to any other international market pricing. And that is how they are able to “dump” their goods into international markets aggressively.
Look at the China’s share in various manufacturing goods across the sectors:
Value vs. Volume:
India’s imports from China include Power generating machines, Telecommunication towers, Solar-power panels and equipment for a high “Capital goods” in high Volumes. Whereas, India exports low capital goods such as raw leather, raw cotton, iron ore and other such metals. On the subject of Buffalo meat, out of the total of India’s exports of Buffalo meat, 45% share goes to China alone.
In this way, by importing high capital goods and exporting low capital (low Value) goods, we are witnessing Trade Imbalance and Deficit. India is not only importing raw materials from China, but also importing finished goods which are taking a toll on the trade balance and domestic market.
Look at the below figures of our imports and exports for the recent years:
In the year 2012-13, we have been able to export only 25% compared to imports. In 2013-14, we have been able to export only 35% compared to imports. In the 2014-15, we have been able to export only 25% compared to imports. This indicates that our exports w.r.t imports are dwindling rapidly.
‘Formal’ and ‘Informal’ sectors:
The informal sector, is neither taxed, nor monitored by any form of government. Unlike the formal economy, activities of the informal economy are not included in the calculation of gross national product (GNP) and gross domestic product (GDP) of a country.
This terminology is a colonial construct, explains Prof.R.Vaidyanathan in his column here: The informal sector consists of all economic activities that remain outside the official institutional framework (statutory control and implications and governmental regulation). Consequently, the government has little control over the quality of employment. Generally, agricultural activity does not come under the purview of the informal set. This usage has come from Latin-American countries, where US experts have identified a large number of economic activities not regulated by government and many of them “underground” in nature – hence the term `informal.’
China’s attack is happening on both formal and informal sectors. Whereas 90% of the employment is provided by these faceless people, the informal sector is not given more importance and incentive. Informal sector plays a vital role in Bharat. China is not allowing import of Indian goods using unfavorable trade practices.
To reduce this trade deficit with China, the then Prime Minister of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh had once persuaded the authorities of China to purchase more & more Pharmaceuticals, Information technology products and buffalo meat, etc from India during his visit to China. However, that effort did not yield any positive outcome. Since then onwards even after 2014, all the government’s efforts have not been able to yield any result.
In the month of September’ 2014, when China’s President Mr.Xi Jinping visited India, there were 16 agreements made with the new NDA government under Prime Minster Narendra Modi. Among those agreements, there were these investment plans China has pledged to invest in India:
- Modernization of India’s ageing railway system with high-speed links and upgrade.
- Set up industrial parks in Gujarat and Maharashtra. To this effect, the government of Gujarat has identified 400 acres of land & the Maharashtra government has identified 1250 acres land.
- Give more market access to India to products, including pharmaceuticals and farm products.
- 20 hundred Crore USD worth Investment opportunity for China
To correct the “trade imbalance” between India and China, the new Indian government thought of extending a huge investment opportunity to China as compensatory. However, this remedy seems to be more harmful than the disease! Once the investment opportunity is given to enemy nation China, they will transfer the entire profits (double/more the profits than they currently extract from India) in large scale with absolutely no barriers. There will be collateral damage that will destroy the India industry forever and survival itself becomes difficult. Indian economy will then be at the mercy of China!
Inspite of opening up so many sectors for investments and liberalization, in return, China did not give any such opportunities for Indian industries to flourish in China.
Mobile/telecom manufacturing sector dependent on China imports
Telecom subscriber base in India has grown substantially in the recent decades. India is currently the second-largest telecommunication market and has the third highest number of internet users in the world. India’s telephone subscriber base expanded at a CAGR of 19.96 per cent., reaching 1058 million during FY07–16. In March 2016, total telephone subscription stood at 1058 million, while tele-density was at 83.36 percent, which will contribute substantially to India’s GDP, according to report prepared by GSM Association (Source: IBEF).
The Mobile manufacturing industry has also picked up keeping up pace with the speed of technology. Many local phone-maker companies have also sprung up giving tough competition to the international players. However, this has become more of a ‘screw-driver technology’, meaning assembling units for multi-national companies than indigenous in reality, as most of the manufacturing is still being done overseas.
Why? The mobile manufacturers have taken advantage of importing phones as “semi-knocked down” kits (SKD)” with most components already soldered to the main circuit-board (PCB) of the handset. These kits are brought in as components at “zero duty” and then simply assembled into devices with value addition of just 1-2 per cent.
On the other hand, if the phone companies were to import “completely knocked down” (CKD) kits, it would push up the local value addition to 7-10 per cent as the assembling requires more labour and a proper assembly line. But due to “zero duty” on SKDs, most brands prefer to do just a screwdriver job.
With components largely imported from China, local value-add remains low. The ‘Make-in-India’ programme for mobile phones is perhaps helping China more!
Industry experts say, policies encouraging CKDs will kick-start the overall mobile phone manufacturing industry in India. In the last two years, 40 new handset manufacturing units and 30 mobile components/accessory units started operations in India. Indigenous production of handsets has gone up from 11 crore units valued at ₹ 54,000 crore in 2015-16 to 17.5 crore units at ₹90,000 crore in 2016-17. (Source: Hindu Business Line article May 12, 2017, Phones ‘Made in India’, cash registers ringing in China).
Pitching for duty
Formal representations to the government were made by mobile industry bodies (such as MAIT – Manufacturers Association for Information Technology), requesting the government to impose a 12 per cent duty on the import of SKD kits. In 2014, 260 million mobile handsets, valued at close to $18 billion, were sold in India. Keeping aside the distribution margins, taxes and duties, the annual import bill amounts to $12 billion. (Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec’ 10, 2015)
The numbers are big, but the total local value-addition done is small — less than 6 per cent at as at end 2016. The total value of mobile phones sold in India in 2016 was about $12 billion (cost to manufacturer) on a retail value of $16 billion. Of this, only $650 million worth of value-addition was done locally. That comes to 5.6 per cent. Essentially, Indian companies continue to run screwdriver shops. To increase value-addition in India, last year the government has enforced 12.5 per cent duty on imported batteries, chargers and headphones, pushing most manufacturers to source these components locally.
The latest reports suggest that the Government is set to levy a customs duty of at least 10 per cent on imported mobile phones (and accessories) under GST to safeguard (and retain) benefits passed on to local manufacturing, but, it is yet to make an official announcement on the same. Imported phones and parts are still expected to cost more or less the same, but, the move would surely encourage players to rather Make in India than elsewhere.
1st’ July 2017, Update: Government of India imposes 10% Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on imported mobile equipment:
(In a notification late night on 30th June 2017, the department of revenue said that the government took the decision “on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do.” The government in a press release issued on July 1st added that 10 per cent BCD had been imposed on “Cellular mobile phones and specified parts of cellular mobile phones like charger, battery, wire headset, Microphone and Receiver, Key Pad, USB Cable“. India’s telecom trade promotion organizations, TEMA (Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India), CMAI (Communication Multimedia and Infrastructure), Indian Cellular Association and domestic telecom manufacturers have welcomed the government’s move to impose 10 per cent basic custom duty (BCD) on charger, battery, wired headset, microphone receiver, key pad, USB cable. They mentioned that the decision to impose BCD would also clear any roadblocks in the way of a long-term manufacturing roadmap that offers tax benefits to those making mobile phone components within the country. It would also increase local value addition to 35-40% from the current 6%).
13 July’17, Update: SJM demands termination of Chinese Metro coach contract:
Press Release: The Swadeshi Jagran Manch has demanded termination of contracts to Chinese manufacturers for Metro coaches. SJM in a letter to the Prime Minister on 13th July, 2017 stated that the claim of “Make in India” is a farce since the Chinese resort to assemble the parts in place of manufacturing. “Two recent announcements are worrying us, which include Chinese company SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd, the joint venture partner of General Motors, taking over its India manufacturing plant at Halol in Gujarat and state owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) – getting a go ahead to set up metro rolling stock manufacturing unit in Multi-Modal International Cargo Hub and Airport in Nagpur” the SJM convenor Ashwani Mahajan has stated in a letter to the Prime Minister.
China as sympathizer of Pakistan’s sponsored Terrorism against India
India was the most affected nation by terrorists like Maulana Masood Azhar, Zaki-ur-Rehman, Syed Salahuddin, etal., from Jaish-e-Mohammed of Pakistan on 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai and also recently in Pathankot Airforce station in Punjab state of India.
Whenever India adopted a resolution against these terrorists at United Nations to declare them as terrorists, China has opposed it and used its veto power at UN to show its hatred towards India.
China has blocked a similar move by USA’s resolution to designate Pakistan-based militant group chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the United Nations (UN), barely weeks after India’s similar efforts were blocked by China.
In all such cases where strong action was sought from China against terrorist organizations Lashkar-E-Taiba, Jamaat-Ud-Dawa, etc, China had either ignored or acted against all such moves to declare them as terrorists, thus proving its dislike against Indian state.
China’s military exercise at Pakistan-Occupied Jammu-Kashmir (PoK) & Infrastructure Development
China has occupied about 38,000 Sq.Km of India’s territory during the 1962 war. Pakistan has also occupied illegally 5,183 Sq.Km land belonging to India which is now with China. More so, Pakistan has occupied 68,000 Sq.Km in Jammu Kashmir Gilgit-Baltistan area, where China and Pakistan in MoU have started Economic Corridor, despite India’s opposition. China along with Pakistan has been continuously interfering with India’s border.
Economic Corridor (CPEC, OBOR, SEZ): China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a collection of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan. China claims, CPEC is intended to modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects and special economic zones.
Recent Chinese reports claim that following the launch of CPEC in Pakistan, the country has received investments worth more than the originally valued at USD 46 billion; which is is now worth USD 62 billion!
Another new deal called One Belt One Road (OBOR) with China, an ambitious project which was signed in Kathmandu (Nepal), would allow development of cross-border connectivity and more with China by the countries – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. With the exception of Bhutan, which has no diplomatic ties with China, every other South Asian country has signed into OBOR.
As per China, the “One Belt One Road” initiative was meant to focus on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe, with emphasis on enhancing land as well as maritime routes. The policy aims to boost domestic growth in the country as per China claims. Experts have noted that OBOR is also a part of China’s strategy for economic aggressive diplomacy.
India has not only boycotted Xi’s OBOR summit but has also portrayed OBOR as an opaque, neo-colonial enterprise seeking to ensnare smaller, cash-strapped states in a debt trap. India has raised objections and refused to join the OBOR initiative because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a part of OBOR and it passes through India’s territory and in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) affecting India’s sovereignty.
China blocks Brahmaputra tributary – impact on water flow in India
The Brahmaputra is one of the major rivers of Asia, a trans-boundary river which flows through China, India and Bangladesh. China’s had threatened to block Brahmaputra tributary “Yarlung Zangbo” from flowing into India thus exposing its cunningness. China is diverting Brahmaputra river water by building up five huge tunnels for power generation and thereby causing decrease in the amount of water flow to India. The state of Assam is constantly under threat of being flooded because of the dam built across the Brahmaputra tributary by China. The Zangmu Dam is a gravity dam on the Yarlung Zangbo/Brahmaputra River 9 km (5.6 mi) northwest of Gyaca in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
China’s opposition to India’s entry into NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group)
India has so far has not been able to become member of NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) only because of China’s opposition, while most of the countries are supporting India.
China opposes India’s permanent membership in UNSC
India is the only country that had supported China in the late 1950’s to get permanent membership of United Nations Security Council. Ironically, China is now opposing India’s permanent membership of UNSC.
China’s constant incursions into India’s territory
China with its expansionist attitude is transgressing India’s territory about 300-450 times a year thereby politically and economically weakening Bharat.
China claims about 90,000 Sq.Km land along with the state of Arunachal Pradesh as their territory, and constantly obstructing India’s developmental plans that have been taking place in that area.
China shares a border of about 4057 Km length territory with India, where it has built roads and rail connectivity in the entire stretch, supplies electricity and also has good infrastructure and has established nuclear plant very close the India’s border. In addition to all these, China allocates about five times India’s Defense budget and further expanding.
China is expanding its Defense base in Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, who are India’s neighbours., while these countries (Sri Lanka & Bangladesh) have out-sourced their Ports maintenance to China.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of their territory representing Arunachal Pradesh in their official maps, and so much so that they have ‘relaxed’ visa norms to the extent that China invites the residents of Arunachal Pradesh through “stapled visas” (in other words no visa is required to cross over and thus asserting Arunachal Pradesh their part of the country).
When China came to know that when ex-Prime Minister of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh was visiting Arunachal Pradesh, the state of India called as “सूरज की धरती” or “the land of rising sun”, China has rushed to wake up India’s Ambassador to China (Nirupama Rao) in the wee hours at 2:00 AM on 21st, March, 2008 and staged its protest and threatened India of its consequences. The then PM Manmohan Singh was forced to return from Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and discontinued his visit to other places.
Chinese troops have stopped KAILASH MANASAROVAR Yatra:
Kailash Manasarovar Yatra (KMY) is known for its religious value, cultural significance. It is undertaken by hundreds of people every year. Holding significance for Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, it holds religious importance also for the Jains and the Buddhists. It is open to eligible Indian citizens,holding valid Indian passports, who wish to proceed to Kailash-Manasarovar for religious purposes. Ministry of External Affairs does not provide any subsidy or financial assistance to Yatris. (Source: http://kmy.gov.in/kmy/noticeboard.do?lang=en_US)
China has refused entry to the first batch of some 50 pilgrims, who were supposed to travel to Kailash Mansarovar, via Nathu La in Sikkim. Chinese troops have also stopped the batch of pilgrims that was proceeding for Kailash Mansovar yatra. Ministry of External Affairs organizes this Yatra during June to September each year through two different routes – Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand),and Nathu La Pass (Sikkim).
Chinese troops transgress Sikkim sector in Doka La in Sikkim
Very recently in this month of June’2017, our brave jawans of Indian Army formed hard stop in the form of “human wall” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to stop Chinese PLA incursions and transgresses Doka La in Sikkim state of India. In the name of PLA wanting to build a road at Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction, China is using all its nefarious tactics to transgress into India’s territory.
These incursions have become a trend whenever India makes global news. China is nervous and adopting cheap tactics of intimidating diplomacy across the border states of North East. The bunkers have been destroyed in Lalten area of the Doka La area.
It is not the first time that such a transgression has happened at the Doka La, a place at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction. The Chinese forces had in November 2008 destroyed some makeshift Indian army bunkers at the same place.
“It’s time India used its most powerful weapon against China: Trade”– says the Geo-strategist and defense expert Sri Brahma Chellaney in his column in HT, 30 June 2017.
He writes: “by importing $5 worth of goods from China for every $1 worth of exports to it, India not only rewards Chinese belligerence but also foots the bill for Beijing’s encirclement strategy.
He has also cautioned that “China is waging a psy-war through media… Make no mistake: Despite the cozy ties with Washington, India, essentially, is on its own against China. It needs to bolster its border defenses and boost its nuclear and missile deterrent capabilities”.
Our Responsibility at Individual & Societal level:
The questions that were raised against un-calibrated globalization remain un-answered.
- Is it possible in near future for a Single World Currency?
- “Perfect Competition” vs. Monopoly, Oligopoly (Unfair competition).
- IPR issues and technology denials– Growing issues on Intellectual Property rights & court cases under WTO arbitration.
- Multi-lateral free-trade agreements turning out to be impractical?
- Basic construct of Globalisation and free trade was built on “Cooperation” rather than “Competition“. Is this truly working that way?
- Restrictions on free movement of Skilled labour across continents.
- Are we heading towards De-Globalization?
Obviously, there are geo-political factors that cannot be ignored. How can the world then talk of ideas and innovations and interplay of ideas, but yet fight for IPR and patents?
Every nation has to do its own SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Likewise, Bharat also needs to have “its” own model of sustainable development based on Agriculture & Employment-centric manufacturing, which is truly a Swadeshi model of “production by masses” and not “mass production“.
The government must also strive to negotiate the international agreements of trade and commerce on our own terms & conditions.
To attain economic sovereignty, the nation has to become self-reliant. We can only achieve this goal through our individual and social responsibility.
Swadeshi Jagaran Manch therefore appeals to,
- Completely boycott China products and services
- Create awareness in our localities to boycott China products and services
- Traders to shun the China products from selling
- Create awareness about China’s cheap / low quality products and fake food products. (Eg: Plastic rice, cheap quality and low grade Cancer causing toys, etc).
- Spread the awareness through Social Media
- Join the Swadeshi-Suraksha campaign meetings, seminars, rallies.
Let us all join hands in large numbers and participate in Rashtriya Swadeshi-Surakhsa Abhiyan and make it a grand success, starting on 6th August’ 2017. #BOYCOTTCHINA
(Courtesy: Based on the seminar talks and inputs from Sri.B.M.Kumaraswamy, renowned Economist, Retired Professor in Economics and Clean environment expert, Akhil Bharatiya Sah-Samyojak, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch).
- The Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Department of Commerce, Government of India.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
- The WTO Organisation Website.
- Kailash Manasarovar Yatra website, The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of india.
- Swadeshi Jagaran Manch
- Various business news paper reports and magazines referred in the article.
Excellent and timely. I am afraid that the national market being created by GST and other measures may lead in the opposite direction.