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Commerce ministry examines spike in imports from Singapore: Report

Date: 05-12-2019
Subject: Commerce ministry examines spike in imports from Singapore: Report
The commerce ministry is looking into the unusual 118 percent surge in India's merchandise imports from Singapore in 2018-19 to $16.3 billion, Financial Express reports.

The scrutiny of the inflows comes amid fears that Chinese goods are being diverted through Singapore due to duty concessions offered under a free-trade agreement (FTA).

“The scrutiny of any potential violation of the rules of origin (of the imported products) is being tightened,” a source told the newspaper.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

The last time such a surge in imports from Singapore was in 2006-06 (64 percent), a year after the FTA came into effect.

The maximum spike in imports was in electrical machinery and parts, sound recorders and TV images etc (158 percent rise year-on-year to $3.1 billion), the report said.

The jump also hurt India’s trade balance with Singapore, from a surplus of $2.7 billion in 2017-18 to a deficit of $4.7 billion last fiscal, it said.

It also widened India’s trade deficit with the Association of South-East Asian nations (ASEAN) to $21.8 billion in 2018-19 from just $12.9 billion the previous year.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal recently told Parliament that India wanted to review its FTA with ASEAN.

India recently chose to stay out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Agreement to protect domestic interests.

Source: moneycontrol.com

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