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India considers barter for oil and currency swaps for China trade

Section: Daily Dispatches

Government May Explore Barter Trade for Oil Purchases

From The Times of India, Mumbai
Thursday, October 4, 2018

NEW DELHI -- India could go in for barter trade for its oil purchases and set up a rupee-renminbi payment mechanism for its trade with China if suggestions made by the commerce department are put into force.

The ideas were suggested on Thursday at a meeting chaired by commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu with officials of 16 departments and ministries to reduce India's dependence on imports and expand domestic capacity to produce inputs through non-tariff measures.

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Prabhu is said to have suggested ways to ease the pressure on current account deficit by increasing remittances, external commercial borrowing, foreign loans, and foreign direct investment to immediately improve capital inflows. The department of economic affairs and Reserve Bank of India are expected to look at an arrangement with countries such as Russia for imports on deferred payment or increasing barter possibilities for balanced trade involving diamonds.

"This is so because we import raw diamonds and export the finished product after a lot of value addition. So banks can offer credit without much restrictions," said an official who did not want to be named. Exploitation of any free-trade pact that is leading to higher imports was an area of concern at the meeting.

Feasibility of exploring rupee-renminbi trade can also be explored as India had the highest trade deficit with China, to the tune of $63.04 billion in 2017-18. ...

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