Govt initiates probe into chemical dumps

India has initiated a probe into alleged dumping of a chemical, mainly used in photography and medical applications, by China, following complaints by domestic players. The commerce ministry's designated authority, the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties [DGAD], has started an investigation into alleged dumping of meta phenylene diamine [MPDA].

In a notification, the DGAD said that it has sufficient evidence of dumping of the product from China 'to justify initiation of an anti-dumping investigation'.

'... the authority hereby initiates an investigation into the alleged dumping and consequent injury to the domestic industry ... to determine the existence, degree and effect of any alleged dumping and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which, if levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry,' the commerce ministry said in a notification.

The period of investigation is from October to December 2011. However, for the purpose of analysing injury, the data of previous three years of 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 would also be considered, it said.

After completion of the probe, the commerce ministry would recommend the duty and the finance ministry would impose the restrictive duty.

Countries initiate an anti-dumping probe to see whether their domestic industries have been hurt because of a surge in cheap imports. As a counter-measure, they impose duties under the multilateral regime of the WTO.

The duty also ensures fair trading practices and creates a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a-vis foreign producers and exporters resorting to dumping. Unlike the safeguard duty, which is levied in a uniform way, anti-dumping duty varies from product to product and country to country.

India has initiated 275 anti-dumping investigations between 1992 and March 2012, involving 42 countries.

The countries prominently figuring in anti-dumping investigations are China, Korea and Singapore and the major product categories on which anti-dumping duty has been levied are chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceutical, steel and consumer goods.
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