India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) on Sunday asked the government to increase anti-dumping duty on optical fibre to 25 percent, especially on cheap Chinese imports. ICEA sent a letter to Revenue Secretary and Commerce Secretary expressing concerns over the high anti-dumping duty of 30 percent levied by China on Indian optical fibre. Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has also suggested a 10 percent anti-dumping duty on the same responding to the grievance of domestic manufacturers.
While India aspires to be the world’s most competitive and significant global hub for electronics products manufacturing including fibre, it cannot let domestic industry get run over by predatory dumping, ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo told PTI. “DGTR decisions should be swift and also get implemented swiftly. While we welcome the 10 per cent recommendation by DGTR on fibre, we would like it to be implemented immediately and also a review be done for the 25 per cent rate to be implemented and Indonesia to be included,” Mohindroo said.
Another concern brought to light by ICEA in the letter is the circumvention of duties by Chinese companies by following the route of ASEAN country such as Indonesia with whom India has free trade agreement. “It may be noted that five Indonesian companies are interested parties in the DGTR investigation and many of these could be Chinese companies resident in Indonesia. “We urge the Committee of Secretaries to not blindly apply the 3 per cent waiver rule for developing countries, to view the issue in totality considering the possibility of circumvention,” ICEA said in the letter.
Although the Director General for Safeguard had proposed anti-dumping duty of 25 per cent on optical fibre, DGTR had later reduced it to 10 per cent. “There is a grave injustice being meted out to the industry which was able to get 25 per cent safeguard protection in November 2019 recently. Based on the same data, the protection level has been reduced to only 10 per cent in the final findings,” ICEA letter said.
Recalling the Prime Ministers’s Independence Day announcement of connecting every village by optical fibre in the next three years, ICEA said that India’s optical fibre industry should shun its dependence on China. ICEA alleged that China is seeking to destroy the Indian industry by putting stiff anti-dumping duty, ranging from 7.4 per cent to 30.6 per cent, on Indian exports. It had imposed anti-dumping duty on Sterlite five years ago and on four other Indian companies in 2014.
China recently extended this duty by another five years, while taking similar action on optical fibre producers from Japan, the US and Australia. “Thus, China is on a mission to kill the optical fibre industry all over the world. We in India must stop this from a strategic plan issued apart from a safeguard measure,” the letter said. (PTI)