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India merges anti-dumping, import safeguard bodies

India merges anti-dumping, import safeguard bodies
The commerce ministry said the government has amended the rules on allocation of business, shifting work pertaining to safeguard measures to the ministry
India has finally merged the two separate bodies handling anti-dumping and import safeguards to form the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), in line with US International Trade Commission (USITC), for providing comprehensive and swift trade defence mechanism under one umbrella.
Mint on 14 April 2016 had first reported about the proposal made by the commerce ministry. However, the finance ministry, which had administrative control over the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS), rejected the commerce ministry’s proposal, Mint reported on 7 September 2016. The commerce ministry, however, went ahead and renamed the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) under its control as DGTR.
In a press statement on Wednesday, the commerce ministry said the government has amended the rules on allocation of business, shifting work pertaining to safeguard measures to the commerce ministry. The refurbished DGTR will also bring safeguards (quantitative restrictions) functions of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) into its fold.
Presently, the trade defence mechanism in India lacks optimality and takes more than a year to complete proceedings in cases pertaining to unfair trade practices. Currently, DGAD deals with anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, while DGS deals with safeguard measures and DGFT deals with quantitative restriction (QR) safeguards.
The commerce ministry said DGTR will also provide trade defence support to India’s domestic industry and exporters in dealing with increasing instances of trade remedy investigations instituted against them by other countries. In the last three years, India initiated more than 130 anti-dumping/countervailing duty/safeguard cases to deal with rising incidence of unfair trade practices and to provide a level playing field to the domestic industry.
DGTR will be a professionally integrated organization with multi-spectrum skill sets emanating from officers drawn from different services and specialisations. “DGTR will also bring in substantial reduction of the time taken to provide relief to the domestic industry. The newly constituted body is in consonance with the goal of Minimum Government Maximum Governance of the Prime Minister of India,” the commerce ministry said in the statement.

The Mint, New Delhi, 10th May 2018

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