The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) that comprises 60 million merchants across the country has embarked on a new campaign: Indian Goods-Our Pride. The idea is to escalate the boycott of Chinese products and, of course, make them in India. It finalised a list of 500 broad categories and 3,000 products (from toys to fabrics, kitchenware to cosmetics) that can easily be made in India by Indians. The aim—by December 2021, imports of Chinese products worth $13 billion are substituted by local ones.
Think about it. The CAIT’s ambitious desire covers less than a fifth of the imports from China—$70 billion in 2018-19. Experts contend that if the #BoycottChina crusade has to enmesh with the prime minister’s appeal for economic self-reliance and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, a target to replace 30 per cent of Chinese imports, or a little more than CAIT’s, is in sync with reality. There is no way that the country can get rid of imports from China, not to mention the huge cross-border investment inflows between the two neighbours.