Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, on Monday, instructed officials to ensure that any item made in China is not purchased through the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) or any other sources as border tensions between the two neighbouring countries spill into other domains.
Paswan issued an office memorandum and banned the purchase of items made in China to all its departments. The order will also apply to public sector entities such as the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC).
Paswan’s move came the same day when the government banned the use of 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Helo, WeChat and UC Browser among others, due to growing concerns about these apps compromising the data privacy of Indian users.
Ecommerce Platforms To Display ‘Country Of Origin’ Of Products
Last week, the government held a meeting with all stakeholders of the ecommerce industry to persuade them to display the ‘country of origin’ of products on their platform, in a bid to curb Chinese imports and lessen the competition for domestic products.
According to an Inc42 report, leading ecommerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart among others, in a meeting with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) have agreed to display the ‘country of origin’ of products on their platforms, and have sought some time make the changes on their websites.
The move is likely to add further impetus to Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives, in the wake of growing anti-China sentiment among the Indian public, after border clashes between India and China on the intervening night of 15 and 16 June in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
The government is likely to add this clause in the ecommerce policy being drafted by the industry and commerce ministry. The move to have ecommerce companies specify the ‘country of origin’ for products is in line with the GeM’s mandate for sellers to specify the ‘country of origin’ for their products.