The government of India’s Department of Commerce will soon have a Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). The Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu, has given his approval for the creation of DGTR in the department.
The minister’s approval came following an amendment made to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 on May 7, 2018.
DGTR has been approved with a sanctioned strength of 112 posts drawn from Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied duties (DGAD) of Department of Commerce and Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
DGTR will be a multi-service organization drawing upon the skill-set of various officers from the field of international trade, customs, revenue, finance, economics, costing, and law. DGTR will be the apex national authority for administering all trade remedial measures including anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures.
The DGTR will bring DGAD, DGS and safeguard functions of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) into its fold by merging them into one single national entity.
The creation of DGTR by merging DGAD and DGS will also result in saving 49 government posts. This development is also in tune with the goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have “minimum government and maximum governance”.
It will also provide trade defense support to our domestic industry and exporters in dealing with increasing instances of trade remedy investigations instituted against them by other countries. In the last three years, India initiated more than 130 anti-dumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard cases to deal with the rising incidences of unfair trade practices and to provide a level playing field to the domestic industry.
Suresh Prabhu termed the creation of DGTR, an issue pending since 1997, to be the manifestation of Prime Minister’s vision to provide a level playing field to our domestic industry.
This will be positive for the renewable energy sector in India. The current rate of resolution of such cases in India is very slow. In the past, lengthy investigation into anti-dumping had disrupted the solar sector. Another example is the ongoing investigation into the safeguard duty case.
With the creation of DGTR such cases are expected to be fast-tracked, helping the fledgling solar sector of the country.