India’s border dispute with China has become a cause for concern for American firms manufacturing here, who are feeling an impact on availability of components usually shipped from their facilities in the neighbouring country.
In a letter to Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra, a group representing some of these firms said they were “increasingly concerned” that component parts and other inputs “necessary” to their manufacturing operations here were being detained at the ports.
“Members report that DGFT and Customs authorities have abruptly halted the clearance of industry consignments coming in from China (and perhaps other destinations) at most major ports and airports in India. To the best of our knowledge, no formal orders issued by the government have been shared with the public, neither has any specific reason been provided as to why these consignments are not being cleared,” stated US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) president and CEO Dr Mukesh Aghi in the letter dated June 23. The lack of transparency in this process “threatens” business continuity and is “disruptive” to manufacturing operations here, it further read.
“Whilst we support India’s ambition to expand its manufacturing capability, we are concerned about the repercussions an unanticipated embargo on the import of goods from neighbouring countries will have on the supply chain and manufacturing. This will send a chilling signal to foreign investors who look for predictability and transparency,” it said.
Aghi has sought restoration of port operations or, “at a minimum”, that the government publish any change in port policy “to provide the business community with the visibility they need to function.” The Indian Express reported on June 23 that import consignments from China at ports such as Chennai and Mumbai are learnt to be facing hurdles, with clearances being held up by the Indian Customs authorities.
The disruption in clearances is reported to have emerged over the last fortnight, even as there are no written or verbal instructions from the customs authorities or the CBIC. It is understood that the Customs authorities have hinted at delays without citing any specific reason to importers.
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