Kathmandu, February 21
The government is set to curb the import of goods that destabilise the domestic market.
Following approval from the Cabinet last week, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) is set to table the Bill on Safeguard, Anti-Dumping and Countervailing that envisions imposing additional import tax on foreign goods that are dumped in the Nepali market or are highly subsidised, which have been affecting the market of similar domestic products.
The bill intends to control the import of such goods by levying countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties at the customs besides regular import duties being levied on such products.
Generally, countervailing duties (CVDs) are protectionist tariffs levied by the government on imported goods to offset subsidies given to producers of these goods in the exporting country.
Similarly, anti-dumping duty is such tariff that the government levies on imported goods which are found priced below the fair market value of such products.
As per the bill, government can impose anti-dumping and countervailing duty on imported products that are negatively affecting domestic market for a maximum period of five years.
This is the first time that the government is preparing to introduce anti-dumping and countervailing duties for specific imported products. The private sector had been urging the government since long to introduce the countervailing and anti-dumping policies citing that the increasing import of dumped foreign products and those products that enjoy heavy subsidy in the producing country have been affecting the competency of similar Nepali products.
Endorsement of the aforementioned policy from the Parliament will authorise the government to slap tariff and other measures against certain products of foreign countries that dump their products in Nepal at below production cost.
Besides promoting domestic products over foreign goods, the anti-dumping and countervailing policy is also expected to reduce country’s import bill and narrow down import-export gap.
Officials of MoICS informed that a list of such goods that have been affecting the domestic market and need to be levied the anti-dumping and countervailing duties have been prepared and sent to the Cabinet for approval.
Though MoICS refused to reveal the name of such products, it has been learnt that the Cabinet recently sent back proposal to MoICS seeking some corrections.
Meanwhile, the private sector has said that anti-dumping policies will help boost domestic industries as different foreign companies are increasingly dumping their products in the Nepali market at below their production rate amid excessive production.
“Availability of such low cost goods have affected the market for similar Nepali products whose production cost is comparatively higher,” said Pashupati Murarka, former president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Similarly, the private sector also believes that implementation of such policies will curb the flow of low quality and substandard foreign products in the domestic market.
A version of this article appears in print on February 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.