The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended that provisional anti-dumping duty be imposed on import of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride from China.
"We have found sufficient evidence China is dumping ciprofloxacin hydrochloride below cost in the Indian market. This is considerably hurting the domestic pharmaceutical industry," a government official said.
The DGTR is likely to take a final view on the matter after hearing all the parties next month, the official said.
The medicine is used to treat bacterial infections, including skin, bone, respiratory and urinary tract infections, and certain types of diarrhoea. China alone accounts for about 98 percent of the total Indian imports of the medicine.
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DGTR recommended anti-dumping duty of $0.94/kg to $3.29/kg on Ciprofloxacin HCL from China. The move came after a complaint by Aarti Drugs.
As per the complaint, the market share of domestic players for the drug has declined with imports creating suppressing effect on prices. Production and sales of the domestic industry has also declined and players have suffered financial and cash losses due to imports.
The government conducted an investigation in which it found that the volume of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride imported from China increased significantly, undercutting prices in the domestic market, the official said.
"Compared to the Chinese import, the domestic medicine has a price disadvantage of up to $3.3 per kg," the official said.
According to industry experts, though domestic manufacturing capacity of the medicine has increased, actual production and sales of local industry have declined while a simultaneous increase in the market share of Chinese ciprofloxacin hydrochloride in India has increased. This has caused considerable losses to the Indian pharma industry.
After domestic producers had accused China of unfair trade practice in January, the DGTR had initiated the investigation against the dumping of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride.
The final call on the imposition of the duty, however, will be taken by the finance ministry if DGTR recommends such a step.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here