The Centre is considering a 25 percent provisional safeguard duty on the import of single-mode optical fibre, used for signal transmission.
This follows a Commerce Ministry investigation initiated by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) in September after domestic industry complained. It found a sudden and significant surge in these imports.
The preliminary findings concluded that the product is being imported in increased quantities and may cause serious damage to the domestic industry, DGTR said.
“Existing critical circumstances justify the immediate imposition of a provisional safeguard duty in order to save the domestic industry manufacturing like or directly competitive products,” it said.
“Considering the critical circumstances and the extent of serious injury, pending final determination of the rate of safeguard duty, a provisional safeguard duty of 25 per cent is proposed to be imposed on the imports of single-mode optical fibre…from all countries, ” the DGTR notification read.
However, certain developing countries would be exempted from this decision, it said. The Finance Ministry will make the final decision to impose the duty.
Safeguard duty is a trade remedy available to World Trade Organization member countries. It is imposed to provide a level-playing field to domestic players in case of a sudden and significant increase in imports of a product.
The application for the DGTR investigation was made by Sterlite Technologies and Birla Furukawa Fibre Optics.
The applicants claimed their profitability considerably declined during this period and they are running losses. They also claimed that low-cost imports forced their companies to reduce their prices, which has resulted in significant price depression.
The single-mode optical fibre is used for signal transmission with certain bands and for manufacturing optical fibre cable.