RS passes Bill for tighter control on dual-use tech exports

The Bill also enables the government to impose quantitative restrictions in case of an import surge in merchandise to protect the domestic industry.

"The proposed amendments are necessary to instill a sense of confidence among the technology providers and to ensure that trade in sensitive technologies, including dual-use technologies, is appropriately regulated," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

The amendment to the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, would also ensure conformity with the provisions of the law related to Weapons of Mass Destruction and their delivery systems.

Dual-use technologies refer to highly strategically sensitive items which can also be used for making weapons or systems.Developed countries like the US have been denying India access to such technologies, which can be also used in weapon development programmes, besides civilian use.

The Bill also enables India to impose quantitative restrictions in case of import surges in merchandise trade. The provision is relevant in the backdrop of surging imports from China. Several members, including BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, had raised the issue of increasing imports from China.

Replying to a brief debate, Sharma said, "All the trade safeguard measures are in place to check import surge or injury to Indian trade."Allaying fears of the members about flooding of Chinese-made toys and idols of Indian Gods and Goddesses, Sharma said, "As per rules, action is being taken to see that nothing is done to our industry."

"Director Generals for anti-dumping and safeguards and the government itself, all have taken action to curb inflow of harmful products into the domestic market," the minister said.

Sharma said that all toys which did not conform to standards were banned, including those from China."Mobile handsets without IMEI numbers and having just four-digit numbers were immobilised. Also chocolate and milk products from China were banned as they had toxic contents in them," he said.

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