Department of Pharmaceuticals asks domestic industry to file complaints against unfair trade practices

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on June 29, 2020

In order to sensitise domestic players against unfair trade practices in export markets, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) in the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers has written to domestic medical devices players, who are part of various Indian Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Associations, to file complaints against any such occurrence.

In its letter to the stakeholders, the DoP has stated that domestic manufacturers and exporters may also be subjected to trade remedy investigations by trade authorities of the importing countries which may at times be unfair.

“They may require legal assistance to contest these cases. The DGTR through its trade defence wing also extends legal support to exporters facing such investigations in other countries for imposition of countervailing or anti-dumping duty,” the letter states.

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), a quasi-judicial body under the Department of Commerce in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, recommends various trade remedial measures — anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard measures.

“This after a prescribed investigation of the complaints filed by the domestic industry regarding the aforesaid unfair trade practices or import surges that result in injury,” DoP has stated.

Anti-dumping duty is recommended for goods being dumped at a price lower than the one prevailing in their domestic markets, countervailing duties are recommended against the subsidies given by foreign countries to their manufacturing and exports while safeguard duty is prescribed to curb a surge in imports.

Industry has in the past refrained from seeking legal recourse due to the high cost of litigation.

“Basically the government has for sometime been trying to convey that manufacturers and their associations can seek to file for anti-dumping duty or safeguard duty under relevant provisions of the Indian and World Trade Organisation legal requirements. In the past manufacturers and associations have refrained from doing so because of the huge legal costs involved and a lot of data involved. In the past the government has not cooperated to share the data,” said Rajiv Nath Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd, and Forum Co-ordinator for Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED).

“Now the government is pro-actively seeking such measures. Even exporters are troubled, with importing countries like Europe and US may seek anti-dumping duty or safeguard duty measures or other non tariff barriers to restrict export from India into their country and protect their industry.

“The government sought information on that and they want to support Indian manufacturers in any problems they may be having as they sell their products to overseas countries,” Nath added.

The DoP is keen to spread awareness especially among Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), so that small entrepreneurs located in remote corners of the country become aware of the defence mechanisms available, it has said.

Published on June 29, 2020

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