India has initiated an anti-dumping probe into all the imports of a chemical which are used in the pharmaceutical industry from four countries - South Africa, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey.
Vishnu Chemicals has filed an application for investigation into dumping of sodium dichromate from the countries in question.
The commerce ministry's investigation arm - the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) - has found "sufficient prima facie evidence of dumping" of the chemical.
If it is established that dumping has caused material injury to domestic players, the DGAD would recommend imposition of anti-dumping duty on the said import.
Anti-dumping duties are levied to provide a level playing field to the local industry by guarding against cheap below-cost imports.
The probing authority "hereby initiates an investigation into the alleged dumping, and consequent injury to the domestic industry", the DGAD has said in a notification.
Through the probe, the DGAD would determine the existence, degree and effect of alleged dumping and recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which if levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry, it added.
The period of investigation covers April 2016 and March 2017 (12 months).
The chemical is also used in metal finishing industries, anti-corrosive applications, water treatment chemicals, pigments and paints.
The DGAD is also probing dumping of several other products such as certain chemicals and steel products from China and other countries.
India is one of the most attractive markets for global producers, given its large middle class population.
Imposition of anti-dumping duty is permissible under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime. Both India and China are members of the Geneva-based body.
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.