Last Updated on November 8, 2021 by The Health Master
Union finance ministry in a letter to Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), investigation arm of the commerce ministry on October 27, 2021 stated that the central government has decided not to impose definitive anti-dumping duty on the imports of vitamin C originating in or exported from China.
The finance ministry has taken decision to this effect after perusing final findings in the matter of anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of vitamin C originating in China.
In September this year DGTR had recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duty on vitamin C, used by drug manufacturers for medicine production, from China to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap imports.
Vitamin C is one of the basic and preliminary medicines against C-19 as prescribed by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and is widely used in C-19. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters found in various foods.
It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is important for immune system function. It also functions as an antioxidant.
India and China are the only manufacturers of vitamin C bulk drug. Other countries in the world purchase vitamin C bulk drug from India and China and sell the formulation.
DGTR had initiated an anti-dumping probe into the import of vitamin C API from China on September 4, 2020 following a complaint filed by Bajaj Healthcare which has a 46 per cent share in total domestic production of vitamin C.
The complaint was supported by three other producers of vitamin C API in India– Amoli Organics Pvt Ltd, Reckon Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd. and SR Biochem.
The price ceiling imposed under the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO) is for formulation and not on API or bulk drugs.
The directorate conducted an anti-dumping investigation from April 2016 to March 2020. Since 1998 the authority has imposed an anti-dumping duty on import of vitamin C. The product was attracting antidumping duty US$ 3.74 per kg imposed via customs notification no. 38/2015-Customs (ADD) dated August 6, 2015 which was in force till August 5, 2020.
The DGTR in its preliminary findings on September 3, 2021 concluded that the production and capacity utilization of the domestic industry increased, however, the domestic sales have declined on account of import of vitamin C from China.
The authority noted that though the domestic industry’s inventory level has increased, the performance of the industry has significantly deteriorated in respect of profits, cash profits and return on capital employed due to the Chinese import.
In a bid to protect domestic industry, DGTR had recommended imposition of anti-dumping duty ranging from US$ 3.20 per kg to US$ 3.55 per kg in its preliminary findings. While DGTR recommends the duty, the finance ministry takes the final call to impose the same.
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