Nearly 85% of all the anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by India are on intermediate products, with only a minuscule proportion of the actions on final products.
Data collated by government agencies showed that around 7% of the products that face trade remedies against cheap, subsidised imports that cause injury to the domestic industry are capital goods. In contrast, only 2% of the finished products face these levies. Several industries complain of dumping, but have been either unable to prove it or have joined the bandwagon through production facilities in other countries, which are often accused of selling cheap stuff in India.
“With intermediate products and capital goods facing these levies, the overall cost goes up for the finished products, which may not be a great thing when you are looking to be competitive,” a government.
Studies also indicate that the levies, meant to protect Indian producers against unfair trade practices, have yielded little revenue. According to official estimates, the trade remedy measures yielded around Rs 3,000 crore by way of revenue during 2019-20, which was a small fraction of the Centres’ gross tax revenue of Rs 20 lakh crore.
India is among the biggest users of the anti-dumping tool permitted by the World Trade Organization, having initiated 972 of the 5,944 global actions up to 2019, data on the multilateral agency’s website showed. But when it comes to countervailing duty, imposed against subsidies, the US is the largest user of the weapon. For years, India has been accused by China of targeting it with action. Internationally, the biggest recipient of such action is China, which is accused of dumping commodities, from steel to chemicals, while also subsidising exports.