The Indian Government is reportedly working to formulate technical regulations, including safety and quality standards, for over 350 products to cut imports of those non-essential items. The departments of promotion of industry and internal trade; telecommunication; chemicals; information technology and the Ministries of electronics and steel were consulted.

The issue was widely discussed during an inter-ministerial meeting this month, according to a report. The target is to formulate these regulations for about 5,000 products, but the focus now is on 371 items which accounts for $127 bn worth of imports.

The 371 items include textiles, chemicals, steel, consumer electronics, heavy machinery, telecom goods, paper, rubber articles, glass, industrial machinery, metal articles, furniture, pharmaceuticals, fertiliser and food.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has been tasked to prepare these regulations, the report said quoting an anonymous government official. India imports about 11,500 goods per year. BIS has also been asked to set-up market surveillance mechanism on technical regulations for imported goods. India’s imports have increased 9 per cent to $507.5 bn in 2018-19 from $465.6 bn in 2017-18.