In a renewed effort to help the domestic industry competing hard with cheap imports in a difficult economic environment, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has asked homegrown units to seek redressal in the safeguard duties.
Safeguard duty is levied uniformly on products coming from all countries if the domestic companies complain of injury and unfair competition.
While the Indian industry, mainly the steel units, have been seeking import duties and other restrictions on inbound trade, not many have approached the Directorate General of Safeguards(Customs and Excise).
"We have never received any complaint from the steel industry," an official in Directorate told PTI.
Most cases, which are under the department's purview is from the chemical industry. Few others include hard density fibre board (hardboard), vegetable oils and industrial sewing machine needles industries.
While India is among the nations registering maximum cases of anti-dumping duty, not many investigations have been undertaken so far after the imposition of safeguard duties in 1997.
During January-June this year, 16 WTO members reported initiating a total of 85 new investigations. India stood third in the list, reporting 11 cases, followed by Turkey (13) and the United States (12).
However, the Directorate of Safeguards has initiated only 21 investigations since 1997.
Industry sources said, "There is more dumping happening in India than import surge... Government is also wary of imposing the duty (safeguard) openly."
Unlike anti-dumping duty, which varies from product to product and country to country, safeguard duties are levied in a uniform way.