Ceramic producers in Gujarat move GCC on anti-dumping duty

Captains of India’s biggest ceramic cluster situated at Morbi in Gujarat have decided to make a representation before Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to bring anti-dumping duty on India’s ceramic products at par with their Chinese
counterparts.

Recently, GCC made proposal to impose over 40% anti-dumping duty on Indian ceramic products. However, the council which takes care of political and economic interests of Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain has kept duty at 23% duty on Chinese products.

The new tax regime is going to be implemented from 11th November, 2019, says Nilesh Jetparia, president of Wall Tiles division of Morbi Ceramic Industry. “A delegation from Morbi cluster, along with senior officials of Union ministry of commerce would visit Saudi Arabia in next couple of days and request GCC authority to give a level playing field to everyone. Already, we have represented our case with Prime Minister’s Office and concerned officials in commerce ministry,” said Jetparia.

Of the total annual production of worth around Rs 45,000 crore, ceramic products valuing nearly Rs 12,000 crore are being exported to more than 170 countries from Morbi based units. Approximately 30 to 40% of the total exports, nearly Rs 45,00-5,000 crore in value is being exported to Gulf countries, especially in Saudi Arabia.

“If anti-dumping duty wouldn’t be brought on a par with the Chinese manufacturers, ceramic units in Morbi will have to bring at least 20% cut in production. It means there would be thousands of job cuts. About 400 odd ceramic units out are exporting to different countries across the globe. These units will have to dump their inventory in domestic market, which would intensify price-war in local market,” says KG Kundaria, former president, Vitrified Tiles division, Morbi Ceramic Association.

Already domestic demand is languishing and if exports would dwindle, many units in the country’s biggest ceramic cluster will become unviable and in the long run might force to close down, laments Kundaria.