Citizens' Issues
India starts probe into dumping of red pigment from China, Switzerland

According to the DGAD there is sufficient prima facie evidence of dumping from China and Switzerland of 'Diketopyrrolo Pyrrole Pigment Red 254', a chemical used in paint industry


The Indian government has started a probe into alleged dumping of a chemical, used in paint industry, by China and Switzerland in the domestic market.


The move is aimed at helping guard domestic players from cheap imports.


The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), under the Commerce Ministry, has begun investigations into the matter.


In a notification, the DGAD has said that it has found sufficient prima facie evidence of dumping of "Diketopyrrolo Pyrrole Pigment Red 254" from China and Switzerland.


It said the DGAD "hereby initiates an investigation into the alleged dumping and consequent injury to the domestic industry...To determine the existence, degree and effect of any alleged dumping and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which if levied would be adequate to remove the 'injury' to the domestic industry".


The period of investigation is from January 2013 to December 2013.


However, for the purpose of analysing injury, the data of previous three years of 2010-2011, 2011-12 and 2012-13 would also be considered, it said.


After the probe, DGAD, if needed, will recommend an anti-dumping duty and the Finance Ministry will impose it.


Heubach Colour Pvt Ltd has filed the application before the DGAD alleging dumping of the chemical.


Countries initiate an anti-dumping probe to determine whether their domestic industries have been hurt because of surge in cheap imports of any product. As a counter measure, they impose duties under the multilateral regime of the WTO.


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 resorting to dumping of goods at below-cost rates.


Committee approves rejig of gas allocation policy

The CoS agreed to give first priority listing in natural gas allocation to city gas distributors, which sells CNG to automobiles and piped gas to households, replacing urea-manufacturing fertiliser plants


A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) has approved a rejig of natural gas allocation policy, giving city gas distribution companies like Indraprastha Gas Ltd top priority for allocation of domestically produced fuel.


The CoS approved a proposal of Oil Ministry for changes in priority ranking for gas allocation, official sources said. The issue will now go to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for final approval.


At present, urea-manufacturing fertiliser plants have the first right over the domestically produced gas, followed by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plants and power stations. City gas distribution (CGD) projects are ranked fourth in the priority list.


The CoS agreed to change this priority listing to give CGD firms like IGL, which sells CNG to automobiles and piped gas to households in the national capital, top priority, they said.


CGD firms like IGL currently get 8.32 million standard cubic meters per day of gas out of total domestic supplies of about 77 mmscmd.


As city gas projects get rolled out in new cities, the requirement of the sector will grow and so the government is now giving it top priority.


Sources said compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG) are clean fuels and will help replace subsidised diesel in automobiles and LPG in households respectively.


According to the new allocation policy, additional requirement for CGD will be first met by imposing proportionate cuts in the domestic gas presently being supplied to sectors other than priority sectors as decided by the Oil Ministry.


Plants providing inputs to strategic sectors of atomic energy and space research will get the second priority, followed by plants that can extract higher fractions from natural gas.


Gas-based urea plants will rank fourth in the priority list and power stations fifth.


Since domestic gas production is now stagnant, it is being proposed to freeze allocation to all sectors expect CGD and LPG sector, at supply levels of 2013-14.


In 2013-14, fertiliser plants received 29.79 mmscmd of gas. Power plants got 25.59 mmscmd while LPG extraction plants received 1.83 mmscmd. Petrochemical plants received 3.32 mmscmd while refineries got 1.89 mmscmd and steel plants 1.32 mmscmd.


Sources said incremental production from NELP blocks like KG-D6 and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp's (GSPC) Deendayal gas will be allocated as per the decision taken in the meeting of an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on 23 August 2013.


The EGoM had decided that incremental gas would go to power plants.


The requirement of CGD project is quite small compared to power and fertiliser sectors and can be met through proportionate cuts, they said.


Paid news saga: HC stays Election Commission's notice to Ashok Chavan

Chavan had challenged the notice saying that the EC did not follow procedure laid out in the Representation of People Act, while issuing the notice


The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed the showcause notice served by the Election Commission (EC) to Ashok Chavan in the paid news case against the former chief minister of Maharashtra.


Chavan had challenged the Commission's notice saying that the EC did not follow the procedure laid out in the Representation of People Act while issuing the notice.


Meanwhile, complainant's lawyer in the case, Dilip Taur said, "The court has issued a notice while hearing his petition. We are not surprised, and we will challenge it in Supreme Court. I think that this notice, which has been issued is prima facie wrong."


"We will place many of the issues that were rejected by the High Court judge in front of the Supreme Court," Taur added.


On 13th July, the Election Commission had rejected the Chavan's explanation in defence of the paid news allegations against him and had issued a showcause notice to him asking why he should not be disqualified as a member of Parliament (MP) from Nanded.


Chavan has been accused of fudging poll expenses during the 2009 Maharashtra Assembly Elections. On the directions of the Supreme Court, the EC had issued a notice to Chavan to appear before it.


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