The government has imposed up to 35 per cent safeguard duty on specified aluminium products to protect domestic industry, dominated by players like Hindalco and Vedanta, against cheap imports from China.
Safeguard duty is a temporary protectionist measure which is brought in for a certain timeframe to avert any damage to the domestic industry from cheap imports.
"We have imposed a safeguard duty of 22 per cent on aluminium foil and 35 per cent on aluminium sheets for 200 days against China," a senior government official said.
While aluminium sheets are primarily used by sectors such as auto and construction, aluminium foil is widely consumed by the packaging industry. Hindalco and Vedanta are the main producers of the two aluminium variants.
"The initiative by the government to impose safeguard duty on aluminium foils and sheets is quite important for the domestic industry," Vedanta group firm Balco's CEO Gunjan Gupta said.
The Directorate General of Safeguards, Customs and Central Excise, which investigates problems pertaining to cheap imports, had in January initiated a probe into cheap arrival of aluminium products into India.
The aluminium producers led by Aditya Birla Group flagship company Hindalco had filed a petition for levying the duty against the neighbouring country.