“The Project Development Cells (PDC) of the concerned ministry/department leads any investment related meetings/proposals with the companies in that sector. No such specific proposal for Apple company has been made by this department,” Goyal said in while replying to a question whether any proposal has been made to bring the American company Apple into the country and to make India as the export hub of Apple made products.
In a separate reply, he said that in the last six financial years (2014-20), India has received foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow worth $358.30 billion which is 53% of the FDI reported in the last 20 years.
“However, no data regarding total investment under Make in India is maintained centrally,” he said.
Goyal told Lok Sabha that accumulators and batteries, man-made yarn & fabric, aluminium and its products, glass & glassware, paper, paper board & products and other plastic items are among the top 50 commodities of imports from China whose imports fell during April-July 2020 as compared to the corresponding period last year.
In a separate reply, he said that at present, approximately 550 tariff lines are under the ‘Restricted’ / ‘ Prohibited’ category for imports under the Foreign Trade Policy, imports of which are restricted from all countries, including China.
Ease of doing business
The minister also informed the Lower House that in the upcoming fifth edition of the exercise of the State Reforms Action Plan, 2020 the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has prepared a 301-point plan and shared with states on August 15, 2020. The Action Plan is spread across 24 reform areas with an addition of several sector-specific reforms to ensure sectoral coverage. The department has also prepared and shared with States/UTs a 213-point District Reforms Action Plan, 2020 which is spread across 8 reform areas: Starting a Business, Urban Local Body Services, Land Reform Enabler, Land Administration and Property Registration Enablers, Obtaining Approval for Construction, Paying Taxes, Miscellaneous and Grievance Redressal/ Paperless Courts and Law & Order.
Exports-Covid-19, Lockdown impact
Goyal told the Lok Sabha that both exports and imports declined during the lockdown period.
“The trade balance too declined and turned into a trade surplus during June. The global disruption of supply chains and the overall decrease in demand led to the decline in exports,” he said. However, exports are now picking up and have almost reached the pre-Covid levels and there is “significant improvement in several sectors of the economy” after the lockdown was relaxed.
India’s overall export (merchandise plus services) has declined by 25.42% during April-June as compared to the corresponding period of previous year. The latest merchandise exports show a recovery, with export decline reducing to 12.66% in August.
In a separate reply, he said merchandise exports from SEZs in April-August was Rs 81,481 crore compared to Rs 1.30 lakh crore in the same period last year. However, services exports have grown 9% on year during the period.
He also said that the export of marine products has been adversely impacted during Covid-19 period. Separately, the Tea Board has made an assessment of the impact of Covid-19 on the tea industry. The decline in tea production during March- May 2020 is estimated at 114.91 M.Kgs, against the expected trend based on the preceding two years
On issues related to e-commerce, Goyal said that no specific instructions have been provided by DPIIT to any e-commerce foreign companies having FDI, operating in Retail Sector. Department of Consumer Affairs has released the Consumer Protection (ecommerce) Rules, 2020 to clarify liability on ecommerce entities for goods/services provided.
“Mandatory declarations specifying country of origin, have also been imposed as requirement for e-commerce entities under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011,” he said while replying to a question on whether the government has instructed e-commerce Foreign Companies to operate as per the Indian Laws.