Buy or not Chinese goods on the festivities, especially on Diwali and Holi and kite flying thread to Rakhis for Raksha Bandhan, remain available for a long time. All those big talks of boycotting Chinese goods remain a futile exercise. The social media has been campaigning too against Chinese goods and it had brought the market sentiment. Chinese lighting and decorative products are widely used during Diwali and such materials start flooding the domestic markets three months prior to the festive season. There has been a call for boycott of Chinese goods in India following that country’s opposition to a United Nation’s ban on Jaish- e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as well Beijing obstructing India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Traders have decided to go with the mood of the people and honour their calls for ban on Chinese products. The idea that India’s imports from China are largely made up of the low-end goods one finds in China markets isn’t entirely accurate, even if pervasive, because these are the Chinese goods that most consumers encounter on a daily basis. Their contribution to the overall bilateral trade, however, is less so. Low-end goods are the usual targets of public boycotts, as they can easily be substituted with alternatives without drastic overhauling of supply chains. But it is India’s large imports of electrical machinery, construction equipment, telecom and power equipment that really matter to major Chinese companies. Supreme Court directive last month had asked the Centre to ensure strict compliance of a 1992 government notification regarding the ban on the import of fireworks. Chinese-origin fireworks are known to contain sulphur and other hazardous substances, impacting on the environment and on the general health of the public. According to an estimate, the value of Chinese goods sold in 2016 during Diwali was around Rs 6,500 crore. Out of the total, over Rs 4,000 crore was Diwali-related items such as toys, fancy lights, gift items, plastic ware, and decorative goods among others. Presently with the closure of large number of small scale industries in the country the demand for Chinese goods is likely to increase. Can we expect this year turn of sentiments with people going for India-made goods instead of cheap Chinese products?
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