This monsoon it's raining Chinese rainwear, occupy 75 pc 17trade

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New Delhi, Jun 24 (UNI) With the met department forecasting a wetter and heavier monsoon in the capital, those dealing in monsoon-related products are expecting to make a good business this year.

But it is the cheap and fancy Chinese rainwear and umbrellas that are flooding the market and giving Indian counterparts a tough competition and those dealing in country-made umbrellas a tough time.

Mass production, advanced technology and government assistance has enabled China to cater to the world and huge Indian market of rainwear.

Umbrella Association president and owner of Capital Chhata Udyog, Mr B N Grover says: ''the pre-monsoon season was better this time and I expect the monsoon in the northern region to be good compared to what it was last year''. ''But the Indian umbrella and rainwear industry is disturbed because the Chinese products are everywhere.

It is a big fact that there is no competition between Indian and Chinese rainwear and its industry in the world market.'' Another thing that matters is the raw material.

''The raw material is available in China at one place. For an umbrella, all the raw material, from cloth to spokes to handles, is available under one roof unlike in India where cloth is made in Maharashtra and other material in Kolkata.'' The problem has aggravated with the increasing price of iron.

The spokes which were available for Rs 100 a dozen now cost Rs 200. The scene has changed a lot in 10 years.

''Seventy-five per cent trade is done in Chinese products.'' Why do we import Chinese products? We ie India have an open import. Whosoever goes to China brings umbrellas. They are fancy, cheap and their demand in Indian market is high and growing. ''Such types of importers have cropped up who were not in this industry, went to China and started importing rainwear. We went with this problem to the foreign trade secretary but our problems and plea fell on deaf ears,'' says Mr Grover.

''The government gets duty on imports so it will not say anything.'' N K Goyal of Shree Hanuman Polyvinyles, an exporter of rainwear says: ''My work has gone down by 50 per cent. We in India use PVC in our rainwear products but the Chinese use non-woven which is a foam-like material. The price due to this goes down by 30 per cent.'' Another trader and supplier of umbrellas, Ashish of A G International says his business has been so affected by growing demand of Chinese products at home market that ''we have stopped dealing in or producing umbrellas because of this.'' However, the niche Indian markets still prefer Indian products which are better in quality and higher in prices.

Manpreet of Veejay Agencies, a buyer and wholesaler of rainwear, is, however, upbeat about the Chinese products, saying, ''I import from the US, France and China and get all kinds of buyers but yes, Chinese stuff is preferred in India.'' ''In terms of quantity and design, China is above all hands down but when it comes to quality Indian rainwear is much better.'' ''If it is fancy and cheap, it sells, so Chinese rainwear sells,'' he adds.

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