India has initiated a countervailing duty probe into increased imports of certain types of steel items from China and Vietnam, a move aimed at guarding domestic players from imports that are subsidised by these exporting nations. The investigation has been initiated by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), under the commerce ministry, on a complaint by domestic manufacturers. Stainless Steel Pipe And Tubes Manufacturer Association, New Delhi; Stainless Steel Pipes and Tubes Manufacturers Association, Ahmedabad; South India Stainless Steel Pipe And Tubes Manufacturer Association and Haryana Stainless Steel Pipe And Tube manufacturer Association have jointly filed an application for the probe on behalf of the domestic industry, the DGAD has said in a notification. They have alleged subsidisation of certain 'Welded Stainless Steel Pipes and tubes' from China and Vietnam and requested for initiation of an anti-subsidy investigation for levy of countervailing duties on the imports. The applicants have alleged that the producers\/exporters of these items "have benefited from the actionable subsidies provided by various levels in the government of China and Vietnam, including the governments of the different provinces and municipalities in which the producers\/exporters are located," it added. The DGAD said that the prima facie evidence provided by the applicants shows that the producers and exporters of these goods from these two countries have benefited from a number of subsidies granted by their respective governments. "The authority hereby initiates an investigation into the alleged subsidisation and consequent material injury to the domestic industry," it said. In the probe, the directorate would determine the existence, degree and effect of alleged subsidisation and to recommend the amount of countervailing duty which, if levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry. The period of investigation is 2017-18 (12 months). It would also cover the data of 2014-17. Countervailing duty is a country specific duty which is imposed to safeguard domestic industry against unfair trade subsidies provided by the local governments of the exporting nations. India has already imposed countervailing duty as well as anti dumping duties on various kinds of steel from China to protect domestic players, which are facing problems. In a separate notification, the DGAD has recommended continued imposition of anti dumping duty of USD 613 per tonne on imports of 'Flat Base Steel Wheels' from China for a period of five years. In a probe, it has concluded that the goods are likely to enter the Indian market at dumped prices if the anti dumping duties in force cease to operate. "The situation of domestic industry is likely to deteriorate if the existing anti-dumping duties are allowed to cease," it has said.