New Delhi– India’s trade deficit with China rose to $52.69 billion in 2015-16, from $48.48 billion in the year before, Parliament was informed on Monday.

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha in a written reply that during the April-September period of the current fiscal, the deficit stood at $25.22 billion.

“Increasing trade deficit with China can be attributed primarily to the fact that Chinese exports to India rely strongly on manufactured items to meet the demand of fast expanding sectors like telecom and power,” she said.

She also said that as India and China are both members of the World Trade Organisation, any trade restrictions imposed requires to be WTO compliant.

No blanket ban can be imposed on China, or any other member country, under the WTO framework, she said.

In a separate reply, the minister said that the government has not yet decided on granting relaxation of sourcing condition in the single brand retail sector to three companies.

“Only 3 companies have sought relaxation of sourcing condition. No decision has been taken by the government in this regard,” Sitharaman said, without disclosing the names of the companies concerned.

Under Indian foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, proposals involving foreign investment beyond 51 per cent are required to source 30 per cent of the value of goods purchased from within India.