In a jolt to China, authorities in India have forbidden its citizens not to buy Chinese goods that are self handled. Like for instance during Holi, we play with colours, water guns (pichkaris) etc. So, if we have to take the authorities words seriously, we have to do without the things that we use during Holi. Besides, there are so many items that we import from China.
Industry executives are of the feeling that the novel Coronavirus outbreak is threatening to bring manufacturing in India to a standstill in segments such as electronics which are dependent on China for supplies of parts. China’s share in imports is more than 25 per cent for automotive parts and fertilisers, while 60-70 per cent of pharmaceuticals in India are also sourced from China.
Though not-so-alarmed, India Inc has started citing the epidemic in their quarterly earnings and corporate briefings of late. There are reports that manufacturers of televisions, air-conditioners, refrigerators and some smartphone models are set to effect price hikes this month as they grapple with a shortage of components and finished products imported from Covid-19-hit China.
Apple and its manufacturers have had to close their businesses in China for weeks as demand has plunged following the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The company is not the only one. Businesses worldwide are feeling the heat not only because of lower demand in the world’s second-largest economy, but also because Chinese factories have either shut down or have downscaled their output.
India imports goods worth more than $1 billion from China in pharma, fertilisers, medical devices, inorganic chemicals and textiles sectors. Industries such as tourism, aviation, textiles and solar power are expected to face the impact of the Coronavirus at various degrees which is likely to be visible from March onwards.
Air imports from China have virtually come to a halt while all sea vessels that have already moved out of China are being sent earlier to destinations and the ones pending have been halted at ports.
The CII has noted that some cities in China have shut toll gates and loading or unloading at Chinese ports has also been suspended. Vessels to China are being re-routed while those from importing countries are not plying on the China-India route due to lack of full load of the containers.
People from major cities of the country are in prayers that the affected country should be saved from this dangerous virus that has till now killed thousands as early as possible. In Mumbai, the All India Bhikkhu Sangha and Republican Party of India (RPI) members held a ‘Pray for China’ meet at the Gateway of India yesterday. The meet comes as China battles the Coronavirus [COVID-19], with more than 2,000 deaths. Reports state that there are close to 73,000 cases and more than 20 countries have seen at least one case.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)