India government may impose curbs on furniture imports to bolster local manufacturing

The government is likely to impose restrictions on furniture imports in bid to boost domestic manufacturing and reduce inbound shipments of non-essential items, an official said.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has suggested to its commerce counterpart to put the restrictions, reported Business Standard from New Delhi.

A notification regarding this matter is expected to be released by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade soon, the official said.

Putting a product in restricted category means an importer will require licence or permission for the inbound shipment.

India’s furniture imports stood at USD 603 million in 2018-19, with USD 311 million or 51.6 per cent of which are from China. The other major exporters to India include Malaysia, Germany, Italy and Singapore.

The position of India in the sector sees need for strengthening as the sector is largely fragmented. The size of the domestic furniture industry is about USD 5 billion, while its furniture export market is valued at around USD 1.5 billion.

The government earlier this month imposed similar restrictions on imports of refined palm oil, a move which would discourage the inbound shipment of the commodity from Malaysia.