India markets closed

Clearance of import shipments from China, Hong Kong should be fast-tracked at ports: Exporters

New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Seeking intervention of the commerce and finance ministries, exporters demand fast-tracking the clearance of containers coming from China and Hong Kong at all ports, saying delays impact their manufacturing operations.

They claimed that at all airports and seaports, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai, Indian customs are opening and checking all containers coming from these countries, which is causing inordinate delays in clearance of import consignments. 'Domestic manufacturers who are importing their inputs of raw materials should get priority in clearance of containers. It should be fast tracked,' Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said.

The development assumes significance in the wake of increasing border tensions between India and China. The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a bitter stand-off at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the past six weeks, and the tension escalated manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley on June 15.

Sharing similar views, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said the industry imports fabrics and accessories from the neighbouring countries and they are getting severely impacted due to the delay in the clearance of containers.

'If the things will prolong, we may face financial loss. I would urge the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and the commerce ministry to look into the matter and resolve it,' Sakthivel said.

Another exporter said that consignments of countries like the US are getting cleared at a faster pace, it should be replicated for domestic manufacturers also.

Amid heightened border tensions with China, Indian customs officials are conducting physical inspection of all consignments coming from the neighbouring country based on intelligence inputs although there is no formal order on the same.

The move had resulted in a retaliatory action by China with Indian exporters complaining of shipments being held up in Hong Kong. PTI RR MKJ