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ANTI-DUMPING DUTY ON IMPORT OF CHEMICALS FROM CHINA, IRAN, & QATAR

New Delhi: India may impose anti-dumping duty of up to USD 300.22 per tonne on imports of a chemical, used in detergent industry, from China, Iran and Qatar to protect domestic players from cheap inbound shipments.

Tamil Nadu Petroproducts and Nirma Ltd have jointly filed an application seeking anti-dumping investigations on imports of ‘Linear Alkyl Benzene’.

In its final findings, the Directorate General of Anti- Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), under the ministry, has concluded that there is dumping of the chemical from these three nations. It has also said that imports from these countries are undercutting and suppressing the prices of the domestic industry and performance of domestic industry has deteriorated in the terms of market share and profitability.

“The authority considers it necessary to recommend … definitive anti-dumping duty on imports” of the goods from China, Iran and Qatar, it added. It has recommended anti-dumping duty in the range of USD 23.78 per tonne to USD 300.22 per tonne on the imports. While DGAD recommends the duty, the Finance Ministry imposes it.

Countries initiate anti-dumping probes to determine if the domestic industry has been hurt by a surge in below-cost imports. As a counter-measure, they impose duties under the multi-lateral WTO regime.

ANTI-DUMPING DUTY ON CHINESE ALUMINIUM

New Delhi: India may impose anti-dumping duty of up to USD 1.63 per kg on imports of aluminium foil from China to guard domestic players from cheap inbound shipments. Hindalco Industries, Mumbai, Raviraj Foils, Ahmedabad, and Jindal India, Kolkata, have jointly filed an application seeking anti-dumping investigations into imports of aluminium foils.

In its final findings, the Directorate General of Anti- Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), under the commerce ministry, has found that the foil has been exported to India from China below its normal value which has resulted in dumping. The DGAD said that it considers it necessary to impose the duty on the imports. having established a positive dumping margin as well as material injury to the domestic industry caused by such dumped imports, the authority is of the view that imposition of duty is necessary to offset dumping and injury,” DGAD has said in a notification.

It has recommended an anti-dumping duty in the range of USD 0.69 per kg to USD 1.63 per kg on the imports. While DGAD recommends the duty, the Finance Ministry imposes it. Aluminium foil is used extensively for the protection, storage, and preparation of foods and beverages.

GOLD KEEPS UP DECLINING TREND

NEW DELHI: Gold prices continued to feel the squeeze of growing bets for an interest rate hike by the US Fed as it slumped Rs 250 to an over two-month low of Rs 28,650 per 10 grams.

The hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials, including Chairman Janet Yellen, have helped boost expectations that a rate increase is round the corner. In that case, other assets see a fall in their value.

Slack demand from local jewellers, along with a weak trend overseas, only fed the subdued activity. Silver too fell by Rs 500 to Rs 40,300 per kg due to reduced offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Traders said the dollar gathered strength on the prospect of a US interest rate hike, which mainly kept gold prices lower. Globally, gold fell by 0.42 per cent to $1,198.60 an ounce and silver by 0.65 per cent to $16.84 in New York.

In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity declined by Rs 250 each to Rs 28,650 and Rs 28,500 per 10 grams, respectively. It had lost Rs 150 last week.

GOLD BOND TO MOBILIZE FUNDS

MUMBAI: The government has mobilised Rs 1,085 crore in the sixth tranche of the Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) scheme. “The Reserve Bank of India, in consultation with the Government of India, has issued sixtranches of SGBs for a total value of Rs 4,145 crore till date,” the central bank said in a statement.

Investors in these bonds have been provided with the option of holding them in physical or dematerialised form, it said. The government mobilised Rs 3,060 crore from five tranches. The Reserve Bank issuesthese bonds on behalf of the government. The statement further said the requests for dematerialisation have largely been processed successfully. “A set of records, however, could not be processed for various reasons such as mismatches in names and PAN numbers, inactive or closed demat accounts, besides other reasons,” it said.

Notwithstanding the pending status, the Sovereign Gold Bonds will continue to be held in RBI books and would be serviced regularly, it said. SGB scheme was launched in November 2015. It provides investors a choice to invest in gold without buying the metal in physical form.

SUGAR OUTPUT

New Delhi: Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has disputed sugar industry body ISMA’s frequent downward revision in sugar production estimates for 2016-17 saying the projections were misleading and that India had enough stocks and imports are not required.

The Minister said the Food Ministry will take up the issue of sugar production forecast with the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).

“Who has given the right to them (to forecast)? You cannot believe their production numbers. They are misleading public and the industry by releasing wrong numbers. They should not be doing this,” Paswan told reporters.

The frequent revision of sugar output estimate for 2016-17 marketing year (October-September) puts in question the credibility of the industry body, he said. “It is not fair to frequently revise the figures. We don’t know what logic they have behind this. All — farmers, mills and trade — get affected because of such numbers.”

Paswan said the ISMA has trimmed sugar production forecast to 20.3 million tonnes for 2016-17, down from a previous projection of 21.3 million tonnes made two months ago, and down from a September 2016 forecast of 23.4 million tonnes. Last year too, the industry body had initially project the output to be 28 million tonnes and later revised it downward to 25.1 million tonnes, he added.

Urging the industry and public not to get misled with ISMA’s incorrect projections, Paswan said, “There is no shortage of sugar in the country. We have enough stocks and imports are not required.” The availability will be 29 million tonnes this year including the opening stock of 7.7 million tonnes and likely production of 22.5 million tonnes in the ongoing 2016-17 marketing year, he said, adding this is sufficient to meet the the annual consumption of 24-25 million tonnes.

“Even if we take into account the ISMA’s production estimate of 20.3 million tonnes, the availability will be 27.3 million tonnes, which is sufficient to meet the domestic demand,” he added. Asked if import duty on raw sugar will be slashed from 40 per cent, he said, “There is no question of imports. The status quo will remain.”

Defending its data, ISMA President Sarita Reddy said, “There is nothing wrong with our data. …We are not hiding any facts. Whatever data we have got from satellite images and different state associations, we have passed it on to the government.”

RAILWAY BUDGET MERGED INTO GENERAL BUDGET

New Delhi: The Opposition has attacked the government for doing away with a 92-year old tradition of presenting a separate Railway Budget saying the previous practice was more result-oriented and sought a clear roadmap for making the network financially viable.

Initiating the debate on the Demand for Grants for Railways 2017-18, Congress member K H Muniyappa said the convention of presenting a separate Budget has been changed and adding that a separate Rail Budget would have led to more development of the sector. Muniyappa, a former Minister of State for Railways, however, praised some of the efforts of the government with regard to improving freight capacity by adding 3-4 separate freight corridors, increasing the number of wagons of goods trains and the bullet train project.

Along with the bullet train, the government should also think of improving the existing 65,000 km railway infrastructure as it would help improve amenities, speed and saving time for three crore passengers, Muniyappa said. While Rs 1 lakh crore was required for one bullet train, Rs 3 lakh crore would be required for renovation and maintenance of existing 65,000 km infrastructure, he said. Participating in the debate, TMC MP and former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedisaid the railways should be made a catalyst for GDP growth and there was a need to make it financially sound.

He said currently, the railways was spending Rs 110 to earn Rs 100 and demanded a roadmap for enhancing its overall operations. Trivedi accused the government of misleading the House by projecting a growth trajectory in freight, passenger volume and revenue for 2017-18 while comparing them with the revised estimates of current fiscal.

He said the comparison should have been made with the budget estimate of 2016-17.

Quoting official figures, he said there has been a steady decline in volumes of passenger and freight, which have severely affected the revenue of railways.

Trivedi also slammed the “flexi fare” scheme, saying it was making a severe impact on finances of railways. He also said that “the identity of India is Himalayas, Maa Ganga and the railways which connects the entire country.”

CONSUMER PRICE INFLATION PICKS UP

MUMBAI, March 14 (Reuters) – India’s annual consumer price inflation accelerated by a stronger-than-expected 3.65 percent in February, mainly driven by food prices, after touching its lowest level in at least five years in January, government data showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected last month’s annual retail inflation to come in at 3.58 percent, compared with 3.17 percent in January. “We are seeing a bit of an uptick in certain components of food inflation.

“While we should end the year at around 4.05-4.10 percent CPI, the focus will be now on the next year. “Core inflation looks sticky and will probably average above the 5 percent handle going ahead. We no more pencil in any rate cuts given the RBI’s change in stance to “neutral” from “accommodative” along with tightening global conditions.”

“We feel that there’s a good chance of inflation nearing 4 percent from March because there is an increase in global metal prices, and vegetable prices may increase once the winter is over. And the core inflation, too, looks fairly sticky. “Prospects of RBI cutting interest rates are bleak. The U.S. is on a rising rate trajectory and if we think the inflation may move up, prospects of a rate cut are very dim. In fact, 2-3 months down the line, we may have a rate hike.”

INVESTORS EXIT FROM GOLD EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS

New Delhi, Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) saw a net outflow of Rs 46 crore in February, taking the total to Rs 695 crore in the first 11 months of the current fiscal, primarily on account of profit booking.

The outflow meant asset under management (AUM) of gold funds plunged by 10 per cent so far in the current financial year. Trading in gold

ETF segment has been tepid during the last three financial years. They had witnessed an outflow of Rs 903 crore, Rs 1,475 crore and Rs 2,293 crore in 2015-16, 2014-15 and 2013-14, respectively. However, the pace of outflow slowed in 2015-16 as against the preceding two years on account of a sluggish equity market.

According to the latest data available with Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi), a net sum of Rs 46 crore was pulled out of 14 gold-linked ETFs in February as compared to Rs 35 crore in January this year. This takes the total outflow to Rs 695 crore in the first 11 months (April-February) of the ongoing fiscal, 2016-17.

The asset base of gold ETFs dropped to Rs 5,766 crore at the end of February from Rs 6,346 crore in March-end. “Barring October, gold ETFs have seen net outflows for the whole of this fiscal. October saw net inflows propping up marginally on festival demand and that trend reversed in November and outflow continued till January,” FundsIndia.com Head of Mutual Fund Research, Vidya Bala said.

“Domestic gold delivered about 15 per cent in the past one year could also have seen some investors, who were waiting for opportunities to exit, book profits in the instrument,” she said.

Gold ETFs are passive investment instruments that are based on gold prices and invest in gold bullion. There is a complete transparency on the holdings of an ETF because of its direct gold pricing.

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