India slaps safeguard duties on Chinese aluminum, soda ash

Late last week, the Indian commerce ministry slapped safeguard duty on cheap aluminum and soda ash imports from China and is likely to initiate the same on twelve more products soon.

The Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS), which is under the wing of the finance ministry, in order to protect the local industry, has slapped a 35 per cent safeguard duty on aluminium sheets and 22 per cent duty on aluminium foils, in the wake of cheap Chinese imports.

Under normal circumstances, the import duty on primary aluminium is 5 per cent, while value-added items such as rolled products and foils, attracts a duty 20 per cent.

The DGS has also said in late January that it will slap a 31 per cent safeguard on soda ash imported from China, although it is yet to issue the notification for it.

The safeguard duty on Chinese imports of aluminum was imposed after the Aluminum Association of India along with the largest maker of the metal in India, Hindalco and public sector undertaking companies, Balco and Nalco lodged a complaint with the commerce ministry, accusing China of dumping cheap aluminum in the country, which was detrimental to the local industry.

After due investigation, the DSG then imposed the safeguard duty for 200 days on aluminum imports from China to protect local industry from predatory pricing.