EU Fails To Put Up Strong Case For CVD On Indian Bedlinen

New Delhi, November 4 | Updated: Nov 5 2003, 05:30am hrs
At the India-European Commission official and industry level meetings in Brussels on October 30 and 31, the EC failed to make a strong case for imposition of countervailing duty on Indian bedlinen imports. The commission also could not establish the charge of injury to its domestic industry and the casual link between injury and imports as stipulated in the WTO Agreement on Subsidies & Countervailing Measures (ASCM), say industry sources.

Brussels has recently notified CVD on bedlinen imports ranging from 4.4 per cent to 12.2 per cent in order to prevent further injury to the European industry.

Industry representatives presented their case before the Commission on October 31 at which joint secretary in the textiles ministry KK Jalan was also present as a witness. Prior to this Mr Jalan had led the official level talks on October 30.

EC, sources said, had informally told industry representatives that its case was weak. It however, was trying to make a strong case under pressure from higher authorities and the local industry, sources added. On casual link between bedlinen imports and injury to the European industry, the Indian delegation had pointed out that Indias share in bedlinen imports into the EU had declined from 16 per cent in 1997 to 9.7 per cent in 2002 in quantity and from 14.7 per cent to 8.1 per cent in value during the same period. Moreover, the prices at which supplies had been made were less than 60 per cent, it was further stated.

The delegation had also demolished the EUs charge of injury to the domestic industry pointing that the volume of imports into the EU had declined significantly both in absolute and relative terms. In contrast, production and consumption of bedlinen in the Union had steadily increased.

Sources said the EU had also calculated the subsidy element on the basis of the benefit available to exporters under Section 80-HHC of the Income-Tax Act, 1961. On this the delegation had brought home the point that the benefit was being phased out by April 1 next year.

Indian bedlinen has been the target of four back-to-back anti-dumping investigations by the EC since 1994. The WTO has repeatedly ruled these proceedings to be illegal. The move to impose CVD on the same product will be the fifth probe by EU.