New Delhi: India has slapped countervailing duty for a period of five years on certain Chinese flat steel products to guard domestic players from imports that are subsidised by the exporting nation, a decision hailed both by the industry and steel ministry.
According to Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma, this is the first case of imposition of countervailing duty (CVD) on any steel product in India.
The commerce ministry’s investigation arm – Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) – in its probe had concluded that despite sufficient demand in India and capacities, the domestic industry has lost sales opportunities, which is a direct consequence of subsidised imports from China.
The decision to impose CVD was taken by the finance ministry after the DGAD’s recommendation.
It is a country specific duty which is imposed to safeguard domestic industry against unfair trade subsidies provided by the local governments of the exporting nations. While DGAD recommends the duty, finance ministry imposes it. The actual duty imposed will be the difference between the quantum of countervailing duty proposed (which is 18.95 percent) and anti-dumping duty payable, if any.
The central government, after considering the final findings of the DGAD, “hereby imposes” the duty on these items, the revenue department has said in its notification. Welcoming the decision, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Friday said it will help the domestic players to grow to full potential.
Besides, it will strengthen the ongoing efforts of Indian industry to move towards 100 per cent quality regime for better safety and health of users, the steel ministry said in a statement.
“This will provide a level-playing field to the industry to grow to its full potential after attaining second rank in stainless steel production in world in 2016,” Singh said. Further, the secretary said the decision would provide the much needed relief to the stainless steel industry from the subsidised imports from China.
Commenting on the move, Jindal Stainless Vice Chairman Abhyuday Jindal said, “The much awaited decision, taken by the government after a year-long meticulous investigation conducted by Directorate of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties (DGAD), will provide some relief to the domestic industry and provide a level-playing field”.
Jindal Stainless Ltd and Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Ltd on behalf of the domestic industry had filed the petition for initiation of antisubsidy/ countervailing duty investigation concerning imports of ‘flat rolled products of stainless steel’ from China.
The move assumes significance as the sector is facing challenges due to cheap steel imports.