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Anti-China sentiment may boost small Indian manufacturers

Anti-China sentiment may boost small Indian manufacturers

The unprecedented, overarching sentiment among Indian consumers as well as traders against China is expected to pave the way for small Indian manufacturers to flourish in the coming months. Until the coronavirus pandemic hit the country’s economy, cheap Chinese goods had been dominating the Indian markets, whether urban or rural. That picture could change with the Narendra Modi government introducing a host of measures to boost the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

However, many small manufacturers said that more direct measures would help them further in filling the gap. “Anti-China sentiments are growing exponentially across the country as thousands have their jobs or part of their salaries. On top of that, there is fear of getting the coronavirus by using Chinese products. People, in fact, willing to pay more to buy products which are a little costlier but come with guarantee,” Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, Confederation of All India Traders, (CAIT) said.

Sources said that the spread of the virus has led to a growing resistance among the consumers in buying Chinese made products even at lower prices despite slashed disposable income levels.

“Indian consumers are looking for alternative options which can be easily provided by small Indian manufacturers. There is no reason why a mobile phone cover or simple toys and lights cannot be produced by local manufacturers,” a senior government official said.

Two policymakers IN spoke to said that the aim of government is to ensure that the goods that have been imported from China are replaced by Indian products.

In a bid to boost the MSME sector, which has been the worst hit due to the nationwide lockdown, the government on Monday announced that it will infuse Rs 20,000 crore into the sector.

Meanwhile CAIT also launched a national campaign urging traders to boycott Chinese goods. The campaign titled ‘Indian Goods-Our Pride’ aims to achieve reduction in imports of Chinese manufactured goods by 1 lakh crore by December 2021..