China suggests joint industry forum to resove issue of import influx

23 Mar 2009


A four-member Chinese delegation led by director-general (safeguards) Xiaoyan Zhou on Friday met his Indian counterpart S S Rana and suggested the setting up of an India-China industry forum to discuss and resolve the issue of influx of imports.

The suggestion follows a proposal to slap emergency import duties on about 12 products originating from China by the directorate general (safeguards) of the finance ministry.

The directorate-general of safeguards (DGS) has already recommended safeguard duty on import of soda ash and certain aluminum products from China.

Early this year, the DGS proposed 31 per cent safeguard duties on imports of soda ash from China, 21 per cent on aluminium flat rolled products and 35 per cent on aluminium foil.

The directorate-general (safeguards) is also investigating whether there is a case of imposing such a duty on imports of nylon tyres from China.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) provides for imposition of safeguard duties over and above the normal rate of customs duty to protect the interests of domestic industry in the case of huge imports.

Director-general (Safeguards) S S Rana said while the directorate has proposed safeguard duties on certain Chinese imports,  the finance ministry will have to make a final decision on whether to accept or reject them.

He also said some industry representatives like glass and detergent units using imported raw materials like soda ash have also voiced opposition to the safeguards duty.

The DCS is holding an open hearing where representatives from China are also present.

The safeguard duties have been proposed after soda ash imports into the country rose to 45,771 tonnes in 2007-08 from 44,892 tonnes a year before and jumped to 65,829 tonnes in the first nine months of this fiscal.

The import of aluminium flat-rolled products increased to 26,617 tonnes during 2007-08 from 16,155 tonnes a year before and to 22,287 tonnes in the first nine months of the current fiscal.

The import of aluminium foils rose to 23,925 tonnes in 2007-08 from 10,777 tonnes a year before. It stood at 27,534 tonnes in the first nine months of this fiscal.

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