New Delhi: The government is likely to impose restrictions on imports of furniture with a view to boost domestic manufacturing and reduce inbound shipments of non-essential items, an official said. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has suggested to its commerce counterpart to put the restrictions. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade is expected to soon come out with a notification regarding this, the official said. Putting a product in the restricted category means an importer will require licence or permission for the inbound shipment. India's furniture imports stood at USD 603 million in 2018-19. Out of this, from China, it was USD 311 million in that financial year. The other main exporters to India include Malaysia, Germany, Italy, and Singapore. China is the largest exporter of different kinds of furniture in the world. According to estimates, China's export to India stood at around USD 1 billion. The position of India in the sector is weak as the sector is largely fragmented and is in the unorganised segment. The size of the domestic furniture industry is about USD 5 billion. The exports stood at around USD 1.5 billion. The government earlier this month imposed similar restrictions on imports of refined palm oil, a move which would discourage the inbound shipment of the commodity from Malaysia.
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