Polit Bureau statement on the Exim Policy of the Government of India

The annual export-import policy announced by the BJP-led government with its indiscriminate liberalisation of imports will worsen the trade balance and have very serious adverse effects for agriculture and domestic industry. The decision to shift 894 items to the free import list and remove another 414 items from the restricted list is a continuation of the policy of liberalisation which has already had very damaging effects on domestic industry and agriculture. More than half the items freed from import restrictions comprise agricultural products including most vegetables, fruits and crops grown in India. Even milk and marine products have not been spared. The peasantry which has already suffered from sharp fall in prices will be badly affected.

At a time when exports are falling, the indiscriminate liberalisation will further widen the trade deficit which is already reaching record levels. Another retrograde step is to free imports which have been put in the restricted list connected with the small scale industry.

The policy is motivated by the eagerness to appease the multinationals and G7 countries. After the fiasco on the trade front witnessed last year, the current policy can only add to the growing economic difficulties faced by the country.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the government of India withhold this policy and take corrective measures.