NEW DELHI: India has initiated an anti-dumping investigation on imports of Vitamin C from China on the basis of a complaint by Bajaj Healthcare Limited to the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) alleging that dumping is leading to a decline in its market share, profits, return on capital employed and cash profits, and causing material injury to the domestic industry.

“There is sufficient prima facie evidence of injury being caused to the domestic industry by dumped imports of subject goods from the subject country,” DGTR said on Friday. DGTR recommends the imposition of a duty to the finance ministry which in turn takes a call on its levy.

Vitamin-C is primarily used by the pharmaceutical’s companies for production of various medicines. The product has uses also in the non- pharmaceutical industry. It is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters found in various foods. It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is important for immune system function, and also functions as an antioxidant.

As per the notification, the period of investigation is April 1, 2019 – March 31. The injury investigation period will cover FY17-FY20.

There are three other producers of the product in India- Amoli Organics Pvt Ltd, Reckon Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, and SR Biochem.

“The support letters have been filed by other three producers. Hence, it is noted that the petition has been supported by the entire Indian Industry, and the Applicant along with supporters account for 100% of the Indian production,” DGTR said, adding that Bajaj Healthcare Limited has claimed that China should be treated as a non-market economy.

This assumes significance as China has been insisting that it be treated as a “market economy” and was till recently involved in a dispute at the World Trade Organization claiming the status, which would curb the ability of its trading partners to retaliate with higher duties over Chinese cheap imports and trade disputes.