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Centre proposes anti-dumping duty on China antibiotic ofloxacin

The has recommended imposition of anti-dumping duty on Chinese ofloxacin — a medicine used to treat certain infections — for five years to guard domestic players from cheap imports from the neighbouring country.

The move will not impact the end consumer as prices of essential medicines in India are fixed, said an industry source, who added that there will be no change in the medicine price.

“However, if the API is also brought under this anti-dumping, the government is trying to protect the local industry against cheaper imports,” the person said.

Typically, Chinese bulk drugs are cheaper by 30 per cent compared to Indian made ones. “We are yet to see the granular data, but the government move can come if the Chinese have cut prices far below the prevalent market rates,” the industry source said.

Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended the duty on imports of ‘ofloxacin’ and its intermediates from China after concluding in its probe that the product has been exported at dumped prices into India, which impacted the domestic industry.

“The authority considers it necessary and recommends imposition of the anti-dumping duty for a period of five years,” the directorate has said in a notification. Ofloxacin is used to treat certain infections, including bronchitis, pneumonia and infection of skin, bladder, urinary tract and prostate.

DGTR had conducted the probe following a complaint from Aarti Drugs about the dumping and initiation of the investigation. The directorate works under the ministry. The recommended duty ranges between $0.53 and $7.03/kg. The finance ministry takes the final call to impose these duties.

“The government continuously evaluates the import prices of products across sectors. This move is a part of that. There is no list of Chinese medicines which are under scanner right now,” the source cited above said.

The imposition of anti-dumping duty is permissible under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime. The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a-vis foreign producers and exporters. Further, the department of revenue has said the government had decided not to extend anti-dumping duty on ‘textured tempered coated and un-coated glass’ from China as recommended by the DGTR.

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