A tweak in rules by the Centre to promote the Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign is expected to add to the odds for Chinese products and services in the country amid the ongoing economic backlash against China.
Following last week's violence in Ladakh, in which 20 soldiers died and more than 70 were injured, there has been a call for boycotting Chinese goods and services from traders' community as well as the civil society.
Under the new rules, all foreign firms registering fresh products for sale in India will have to mention the "country of origin" in the Government e-Marketplace -- a state-run online portal -- the government said on Tuesday.
This will also be mandatory for existing products.
"Sellers, who had already uploaded their products before the introduction of this new feature on GeM, are being reminded regularly to update the Country of Origin, with a warning that their products shall be removed from GeM if they fail to update the same," the government said.
The sellers will also have to mention the "percentage of local content" in the product, the government said, so the buyers can make an informed choice.
"With this new feature, now, the Country of Origin as well as the local content percentage are visible in the marketplace for all items," the government said. "More importantly, the 'Make in India' filter has now been enabled on the portal. Buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50% local content criteria," the statement added.
Following last Monday's clash at Ladakh's Galwan Valley – the worst in nearly five decades – an anti-Chinese sentiment has been sweeping the country.
There has been a call to boycott Chinese goods by the all-India traders' body -- the Confederation of All India Traders or CAIT.
The government, meanwhile, decided to "firmly tell" the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd not to use Chinese equipment in its 4G upgradation in view of security issues. A Chinese firm given a Rs 471-crore railways contract was shown the door "in view of poor progress".
China has been anticipating that the backlash will be short-lived in view of economic constraints of India, the Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times has predicted.A smaller economy cannot impose "sanctions" on a larger one and "India will suffer more losses if it launches a trade war against China," a recent article read.
The government's move, however, was welcomed by industry chambers, and the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh -- the BJP's ideological mentor -- said it should be extended to other online platforms like Amazon.
"The government should extend the rules to all platforms so that consumers get a choice not to buy Chinese products," Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.