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Govt of India is seeking to "undermine" Make in India, is all set to drop anti-dumping duty on soda ash

By Shaktisinh Gohil*
The BJP government, which talks big on Make in India, is seeking to adopt a policy that would ruin Indian industry and murder ‘Make in India’! The Congress-led UPA government came up with the Anti-Dumping Notification No 34/2012 on July 3, 2012 for five years in order to protect the labour-intensive household soda ash industry from China, Pakistan, European Union, Kenya, Ukraine, Iran and USA which seek to dump the commodity in India.
After the BJP-led government came to power in the Centre, the middlemen and agents seeking to lobby in favour of soda ash importers stepped up their campaign. On July 21, 2016, the BJP government declared its intention to drop the Anti-Dumping Duty notification by announcing mid-term review. Even though the situation with regard to the industry had not changed, without any valid reasons, the Government of India released its Disclosure Statement on September 14, 2016 in newspapers, giving just four days for comments.
As part of its premeditated design, on September 23, 2016, it issued its Final Finding, and on December 22, 2016, it came up with the Notification, which said that on July 3, 2017, the term of the Anti-Dumping Notification would end.
The government’s decision was not only insane, it is suggested its evil intentions. It knew that the decision would prove deadly to a household industry which provides job to a large number of workers. The decision was challenged through several petitions – SCA/16426/2016, SCA /16427/2016 and SCA /16429/2016 – and was being heard by the Gujarat High Court division bench, and passed an order that notifications issued by central government are quashed and set aside.
Following which the government was forced to drop its decision to abandon the Anti-Dumping Notification. This is how the court helped protect one of the biggest household industries of the country, which provides jobs to a large number of workers.
The term of the Anti-Dumping Notification ends in July 2017. However, the BJP government is refusing to do anything to extend the Notification for another five years. The situation with regard to the soda ash industry has not changed on the ground. The industry must be saved in order to protect the workers’ livelihood and bread by extending the period of the Notification for another five years.
There is no source in India for natural soda ash, hence the industry produces synthetic soda ash. It helps a large number of workers earn their livelihood. Raw materials such as salt and limestone are used in large quantity for producing soda ash in India. In foreign countries, soda ash is mined from the bowl of the earth as a mineral. If anti-dumping duty is not imposed, our soda ash factories would not be able to survive. China produces 30 million tonnes of soda ash, while our country produces just about 3 million tonnes. Hence, if there is no anti-dumping duty, our soda ash industry would not be able to survive.
The maximum production of soda ash takes place in Gujarat, providing jobs to the state’s workers. Without anti-dumping duty, these workers would become unemployed. Ceramic Manufacturers is a local Industry in Gujarat. China is deliberately dumping its soda ash to destroy our industry.
On 8, April, 2017, BJP Government at the Centre came out with an official notification which exempted 4 Big Chinese Companies from paying Anti-Dumping Duty. Massive corruption has taken place in exempting these 4 Chinese companies from paying Anti Dumping Duty.
These 4 Companies are: -
1) Newzhongyuan Ceramics Import & Export Company, China
2) Foshan Henry Trading Company
3) Foshan Warsetter Trading Company, Hong Kong
4) Foshan Newpearl Trading Company
In this context, the Indian National Congress would like to demand the following:-
1) We demand that ‘Anti-Dumping Duty’ on Soda Ash & Ceramic Industry should be increased.
2) Freight Charges should be included while levying the ‘Anti Dumping Duty’
3) The 4 aforesaid Chinese Companies which have been exempted from paying Anti Dumping Duty, should be included again and charged the same.
4) A Supreme Court Monitored Investigation, under a sitting judge should be carried out in this huge scam related to Anti Dumping Duty.
---
*National spokesperson, Indian National Congress

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