The Government of India on Thursday banned the import of air-conditioners worth $500 million in its latest bid to boost domestic production by checking the entry of “non-essential” goods into the country.
In July, India had put imports of television sets in restricted list, asking importers to seek licenses from Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). However, a ban on import of air-conditioners is much more severe as it prohibits imports by any means.
Most of the air-conditioners imported into India come with refrigerants filled in it. India imported split air-conditioners worth $469 million in FY20 with $241 million from China and $189 million from Thailand. It imported window air-conditioners worth $35 million with $18 million from Thailand and $14 million from China during the same period.
India is aiming at limiting trade links with China as part of a policy to cut dependence on its northern neighbour. The government in April notified changes to its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy by mandating government clearance for all FDI inflows from countries with whom it shares land borders.
In July, India restricted Chinese companies from participating in public procurement bids by India without approval from competent authorities citing defence and national security. It has also banned a number of Chinese apps including TikTok on national security grounds.
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