New Delhi: India has initiated as many as 159 anti-dumping investigation cases since 1992 against China, with which it has a huge trade deficit, Parliament was informed Monday.
"The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties has initiated anti-dumping investigations into 290 cases as on date involving various countries since 1992. Out of these, 159 cases involve imports from China," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He said the Chinese products on which anti-dumping duty has been imposed include sectors such as chemicals and petrochemicals, pharma, steel, fibres and consumer goods.
Countries initiate an anti-dumping probe to determine whether their domestic industries have been hurt because of surge in cheap imports of any product. As a counter-measure, they impose duties under the multilateral regime of the World Trade Organization.
The duty is aimed at ensuring fair-trade practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a- vis foreign producers and exporters resorting to dumping.
Unlike the safeguard duty, which is levied in a uniform way, anti-dumping duty varies from product to product and country to country.
Further, Sharma said that during April-June quarter of the current fiscal, India's trade deficit with China stood at USD 9.64 billion. It was USD 40.8 billion in 2012-13.
In 2011-12, the deficit was aggregated at USD 39.44 billion, up from USD 27.99 billion in 2010-11.
Major items of Indian exports to China include raw cotton and yarn, iron ore, minerals, plastic, spices, machinery, petroleum. Import products include electric goods, machinery, chemicals, project goods, fertiliser, iron and steel, transport equipment and electric machinery.
In another reply, Sharma said that recently an 8- member tea delegation from Iran has visited India.
"It is expected that there will be an increase in export of tea to Iran in the months ahead," he said.
In 2012-13, as per provisional figures, India's tea exports to Iran stood at 16.9 million kg (Rs 233.88 crore). In quantity terms, Iran accounts for eight percent of India's total tea exports and 10 percent in value terms.
India's total production 2012-13 stood at 1,135.07 million kg. Out of this, the country exported 220.46 million kg.