Union Commerce Ministry Current Affairs - 2020

FDI in manufacturing of tobacco products prohibited: RBI

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prohibited the foreign direct investment (FDI) in manufacturing of tobacco products.

In this regard, RBI has issued a notification which prohibits the manufacturing of tobacco products activities such as wholesale cash and carry, retail trading as they fall under the sectoral restrictions.

This prohibition will be in case of manufacturing of cigars, cigarillos, cheroots and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes. Henceforth with this FDI  restriction, other activities related to these products will be governed by the sectoral restrictions laid down in the FDI policy.

It should be noted that the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), under the aegis of Union Commerce Ministry has framed these guidelines on this sectoral restrictions.

Union Government imposes Anti-dumping duty on graphite electrodes imports

Union Ministry of Finance has imposed an anti-dumping duty on imports of graphite electrodes used in steel plants for five years. The imposed duty ranges between $278.19 and $922.03 per tonne.

The decision was taken following the recommendations of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping Duty (DGAD).

Earlier, DGAD had initiated and conducted investigation into dumping, on complaints of domestic manufacturers- HEG and Graphite India

With this move, government aims to protect the domestic industry from below-cost shipments of graphite electrodes.

It should be noted that the graphite electrodes are used in melting of steel.

What is Anti-Dumping Duty?

  • It is duty imposed by government on imported products which have prices less than their normal values or domestic price.
  • Usually countries initiate anti-dumping probes to check if domestic industry has been hurt because of a surge in below-cost imports.
  • Anti-Dumping Duty is imposed under the multilateral WTO regime and vary from product to product and from country to country.
  • In India, anti-dumping duty is recommended by the Union Ministry of Commerce, while the Union Finance Ministry imposes it.