Imports Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Finance Ministry’s Revenue Department has imposed a five year anti-dumping duty on Sodium Nitrite imports from China. It was imposed based on recommendations of Directorate General of Antidumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).
In its sunset review, the DGAD concluded that there is “continued dumping” of the ‘sodium nitrite’ from China and it is causing injury to the domestic industry.
Sodium Nitrite is a white crystalline powder. It is an oxidising and also a reducing agent. It is mostly used in the pharmaceutical and dye industries, lubricants, construction chemicals, rubber blowing agent, meat processing, and textiles.
Countries impose anti-dumping duties to safeguard domestic industry from surge in below-cost imports. It is not a measure to restrict import or cause an unjustified increase in cost of products. Anti-dumping duty is imposed inorder to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry.
It is protectionist and counter import measure used by a country under the multilateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime. The DGAD, under the Union Commerce Ministry, recommends the duty, while the Union Finance Ministry imposes the same. India so far has also imposed similar anti-dumping duties on import of several other products including steel, fabrics and chemicals from different countries including China.
The Union Government has waived the import duty on wheat to zero from 10 per cent for an indefinite period.
This move aims to improve domestic availability in the wake of rising prices and concerns about the wheat crop in 2016-17.
The duty was waived because of uncertainty over the wheat output this year. Despite a rise in area sown, questions are raised over condition of the wheat crop, low fertiliser and pesticide use due to and fears of a warm winter.
The waiving of import duty will make wheat imports (especially from Australia and Ukrainian) considerably cheaper. This will fuel imports to over 6 million tonnes in 2016-17. This will be the highest wheat imports in the 10 years.
The wheat production in the country will be around 93.50 million tonnes in 2016-17 as per the government estimates. However, many experts have pegged the figures around 90 million tonnes due to year-on-year droughts in 2014 and 2015. Moreover, Union Government’s own wheat stocks are at an all-time low due to less procurement.