An Indian parliamentary panel is seeking amendments to the country’s Customs Act so that investigators and prosecutors can clamp down on trade-based financial crime involving illegal imports from China.

The panel is concerned about rampant under- and over-invoicing as well as the misclassification of imports and the passing off of Chinese merchandise as goods sourced in Asean countries.

China is not one of the ten-member Asean states and legislators in India are concerned that the country is losing revenue because Chinese imports should be subjected to higher duties than those imposed on goods arriving from Asean states.

Threat to businesses

The parliamentary panel has also called on the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties to play a proactive role identifying instances where World Trade Organisation non-compliant subsidies are attached to Chinese imports.

The panel is concerned that cheap subsidised imports from China are causing the closure of Indian businesses and domestic job losses.

The panel said industries most affected by subsidised Chinese imports are in the solar energy, textile and toy sectors.

Rampant under-invoicing

The panel says it has also seen what it describes as rampant under-invoicing of Chinese goods. It has asked the government to work out a formal arrangement with China in which Indian customs officers can easily obtain price and other relevant information on shipments in which under-invoicing is suspected.

The panel is also calling for an awareness campaign so that consumers are more inclined to buy Indian- rather than Chinese-produced goods.