Providing relief to the domestic industry, the government has imposed 18.9 per cent countervailing duty on Chinese hot and cold rolled stainless steel products.
These products were being imported from China at a subsidised rate, which was hurting the domestic industry, the Central Board of Excise and Customs said.
Hailing the decision, Jindal Stainless Vice-Chairman Abhyuday Jindal said, “The decision will encourage production of the metal within the country and will provide some relief to the domestic industry.” Jindal Stainless and Jindal Stainless (Hisar) had filed the petition on behalf of the domestic industry.
The industry now expects better quality compliance as majority of substandard stainless steel was being imported from China.
“The move would provide a much needed level playing field to the domestic industry,” said Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) President K K Pahuja.
The duty will remain effective for five years. In its finding, the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) concluded that subsidised imports from China had increased significantly and domestic industry continued to suffer losses. The final findings of an inquiry list 81 known subsidies being provided by China. They were categorised into five heads, including grants (0.55 per cent), export financing (0 per cent), tax and VAT incentives (2.3 per cent), provision of goods and services (15.78 per cent) and preferential loans and lending, totaling 18.95 per cent.
The CVD investigations were initiated on April 12 last year by DGAD in response to a surge in subsidised imports of stainless steel flat products. “These imports were distorting the domestic market, which was under huge stress and was leading to financial stress in the industry. Extensive investigations were carried out by DGAD and the final findings were issued by DGAD vide notification July 4, 2017,” said a steel ministry release.
Aruna Sharma, secretary steel, said, “This is the first case of imposition of CVD on any steel product in India. This would provide the much needed relief to the stainless steel industry from subsidised imports from China.”
Sharma said this was one among the many steps taken by the government to help the domestic stainless steel industry. Among the other steps were the imposition of the stainless steel quality control order (QCO) and other trade remedial measures.
Countervailing duty is country specific and is imposed to safeguard the domestic industry against unfair trade subsidies provided by the governments of exporting nations.