NEW DELHI : The Congress on Tuesday accused the BJP government of indulging in "massive corruption of thousands of crores by exempting some foreign companies, including four Chinese firms, from paying anti-dumping duty on soda ash". The party also demanded that a Supreme Court-monitored investigation, under a sitting judge, should be carried out in this regard.
"A corruption scandal worth thousands of crores has been orchestrated by the BJP by doing away the 'anti-dumping duty' on soda ash and ceramic industry from few companies," said Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.
"This act of the BJP will sound the death knell for the industry which employs lakhs of people in the soda ash industry who will lose their jobs," he added.
Gohil also said that the Congress government on June 3, 2012, had imposed anti-dumping duty on soda ash and ceramic industry on foreign companies in order the save the domestic industry.
"BJP government removed the anti-dumping duty levied on at least four Chinese Companies, to the disadvantage of local manufacturers."
"Gujarat tops in the production of soda ash. The state will lose most on removal of anti-dumping duty. The high court rejected the BJP government's mid-term review seeking to remove the duty," said Gohil.
He said though the anti-dumping notification is ending on July 3, 2017, the BJP government doesn't want to extend the period, "thus helping importers and middlemen".
"If soda ash is allowed to be dumped from China, Pakistan and the US, the domestic industries would be ruined," he added.
The maximum production of soda ash takes place in Gujarat, providing jobs to the state's workers, he said. "Without anti-dumping duty, these workers would be unemployed. Ceramic manufacture is a local industry in Gujarat. China is deliberately dumping its soda ash to destroy our industry."
The four Chinese companies include Newzhongyuan Ceramics Import & Export Company, Foshan Henry Trading Company, Foshan Warsetter Trading Company, Hong Kong, and Foshan Newpearl Trading Company.
"Massive corruption has taken place in exempting four Chinese companies from paying anti-dumping duty," he added.
"We demand that anti-dumping duty on soda ash and ceramic industry should be increased and these foreign companies should be again included," said Gohil.