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Dhaka decides to protest Delhi’s anti-dumping investigation

Financial Express, Bangladesh

Dhaka decides to protest Delhi’s anti-dumping investigation

By Syful Islam

10 November 2015

Dhaka has decided to protest the New Delhi’s action relating to allegation of dumping jute goods and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by Bangladesh, officials have said.

Bangladesh feels that India has violated the SAFTA rules by initiating investigation into the allegation of dumping without consulting it.

Before starting the probe New Delhi has also turned down a request made by Dhaka to allow it consultation as per rules of SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area) agreement, they added.

"India did not honour our request and launched investigation without giving us scope for consultation. We will protest it in next SAFTA meeting," a senior official at the ministry of commerce (MoC) told the FE.

He said both India and Bangladesh are signatories to the SAFTA agreement. "We will inform next SAFTA meet of the breach of rules."

The official said the issue will also be raised in the next bilateral meeting with India.

He said Bangladesh Tariff Commission and private sector exporters have been asked to be parties in India’s anti-dumping investigation and prove that the allegation is not correct.

The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties of India recently notified Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi about the planned investigation as local industries alleged that Bangladeshi and Nepalese exporters have been dumping jute goods and hydrogen peroxide in India.

There has been allegation of dumping of jute goods that comprise products like jute yarn/twine (multiple folded/cabled and single), Hessian fabrics, and jute sacking bags.

For allegation of dumping hydrogen peroxide on its market India has started investigation against Bangladesh, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Thailand.

Elaborating on Indian violation of SAFTA rules another senior MoC official told the FE that India did not follow Article 11 (A) of the SAFTA rules before initiating the investigation.

He pointed out that according to the Article 11 (A), before considering anti-dumping measures against least-developed contracting states the countries have to be given the scope of consultation in this connection.

The official termed launching of investigation of anti-dumping allegation without consultation a clear violation of SAFTA rules.

Bangladesh exports jute goods worth US$1.59 billion to India annually. On the other hand, it exports hydrogen peroxide worth only $5.24 million to the market of the giant neighbour.

Hydrogen peroxide has both industrial and medical use. There is about 60 per cent use of the item in industrial production in India.

Recently India ’barred’ export of jute and jute goods from Bangladesh by issuing a notification asking all of its importers to get fresh registration and take ’no objection certificate’ from its Jute Commission for each import consignment. Even it asked the importers to submit details of all users of the imported jute and jute goods.

However, in the face of strong protest by Bangladesh, the Jute Commission of India has relaxed some provisions of the notification but did not exempt importers, traders, and end-users from getting registered with its office.