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Dumping duty on Chinese plastic lenses proposed

G. Srinivasan

New Delhi , March 3

THE Designated Authority in the Commerce Ministry has recommended imposition of definitive anti-dumping duty on imported plastic ophthalmic lenses from People's Republic of China and Chinese Taipei.

Plastic ophthalmic lenses are used in spectacles and these lenses are imported in finished, uncut form, ready to mount in spectacle frames.

In its final findings, notified recently, the authority said the subject goods originating in or exported from China and Chinese Taipei has been exported to India below its normal value and as a result the domestic industry has suffered material injury.

The injury has been inflicted to the indigenous industry both by volume and price effect of dumped imports of the subject goods from these countries, the Authority noted. However, the authority noted that since the volume of imports of subject goods from Chinese Taipei is below de minimus level of 3 per cent as confirmed by the petitioners themselves, it has excluded this country from the anti-dumping probe.

Accordingly, the authority recommended definitive anti-dumping duties on ad valorem basis which is 7.18 per cent on corrective plastic ophthalmic lenses excluding plano coloured lenses being imported from China.

The authority obtained a written petition from Techtran Polylenses Ltd, Hyderabad, a member of Indian Plastic Ophthalmic Lenses Association (IPOLA), Karnataka on behalf of the domestic industry, alleging dumping of the subject goods from China and Chinese Taipei.

While analysing the volume effect of dumping, the authority said that the Indian market for corrective plastic lenses is growing fast but the domestic industry is unable to participate in that growth. The corrective lens total demand has increased from 2000-01 to 2001-02 by 10,98,462 lenses.

Out of this China has garnered 5,74,568 pieces or 52 per cent of the market growth. The domestic industry is unable to benefit from the growth rate primarily due to price undercutting and dumping of Chinese lenses.

While Chinese imports grew at a rate of 48 per cent from 2000-01 to 2001-02 , the domestic industry grew at less than half of that rate - 23 per cent.

The petitioners further argued that the domestic industry sales have picked up from 1999-2000 to 2001-02 primarily due to the restart of the SRF shutdown unit by the new owner Indian Ophthalmic Lenses Manufacturing Company, Bangalore in 2000 and ramping up production in 2001.

They have been operating under heavy losses just to obtain some market share in the expanding domestic market.

Tetra Politeness, another member among petitioners, has experienced sale volume reduction during the period of probe as compared to the earlier year. Hence, the authority contended that there is a clear causal link between the dumped imports and the injury suffered by the domestic industry.

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