Dumping levy on polyester fibre stalled
Hands on the wheel, eyes glued to the screen
Bajaj plays hide & seek at Auto Expo

Mumbai, Jan. 20: 
Domestic spinning mills have scuttled the efforts of the Centre to impose anti-dumping duties on polyester staple fibre (PSF), frustrating domestic PSF manufacturers such as Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) who were hoping the duties would shield them from competitive imports.

The spinners—who are the largest consumers of the fibre—have filed a writ petition with the Rajasthan high court, seeking that the designated anti-dumping authority attached to the commerce ministry should not proceed with enquiries on this front.

The court, sources added, has issued an interim stay order preventing the authority from imposing levying anti-dumping duties for now. The government, however, is expected to act soon to get the stay vacated.

The spinners (textile mills who use PSF as a raw material) argue that there is no case for imposing anti-dumping duties, as imports of the fibre have actually declined in recent times. Moreover, they point out that import prices are not significantly below the domestic prices.

This is, however, contested by domestic PSF producers who accuse certain countries from the Far East of dumping the commodity in the country, thus injuring the domestic industry which has already witnessed a massive capacity build-up amid timid international prices and stagnant demand.

Confrontation between producers of the fibre and the spinners is not a recent phenomenon as the latter have periodically resisted efforts to erect barriers which would make imports of this raw material dearer.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, have repeatedly called for such duties, as imports from certain Far Eastern countries with huge capacities have often led to a scenario where the local players have had to price their products a shade below the landed prices, thus affecting their margins.

International prices of both PSF and partially-oriented yarn are priced at an attractive 60-80 cents per kg in the international markets.

In fact, the designated authority planned to impose such duties on PSF in 1999 itself, following a representation from PSF manufacturers. However, this could not come through as the ministry of finance did not respond fast enough.

The domestic fibre manufacturers subsequently made another representation last year, when moves by the designated authority were again challenged in the Karnataka high court. Though the court initially ordered a stay into investigations by the government, it was vacated with local players again pressing for imposition of duties.

The government is again believed to be weighing the levy of anti-dumping duties on polyester filament yarn/partially-oriented yarn on imports originating from certain Far Eastern states.


New Delhi, Jan. 20: 
Nippon Audiotronix has developed a host of new security products along with hi-tech video products for luxury passenger cars.

After the audio system for cars with remote control, the new video kit consists of three models—the basic model has a videoscreen on the dashboard, the second has two screens behind the front seats, while the third is suspended from the roof.

“We are offering a total security and entertainment range to car companies and individual owners. The video systems are offered with five speakers and will cost between Rs 60,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh. I believe that Indian car owners will go for more customised products in the near future. The audio system with a remote got a good response because in India, most luxury cars are chauffeur driven. As the time catches up, I believe volumes for video systems will also pick up,” said K.S. Goindi, managing director of Nippon Audiotronix.

The company—which markets its products under the Kenwood brandname— has a 62 per cent share in the car audio market. It produces around 1 lakh units, a figure which it hopes to raise to 1.25 lakh units this year.

Goindi said if the market picks up, the company may be able to make 1000 video systems a month.

Nippon Audiotronix has also tied up with Maruti to provide a mobile security system fitted in the Baleno and in the limited edition of Esteem. The kit will be marketed under the ‘Maruti-Nippon Mobile Security’ brand name.

The system includes central locking system with alarms, parking sensors, immobiliser and L.C.D monitors built-in within the system to warn the users of any intruder. There is also a paging system along with a remote transmitter to start the airconditioner before one boards the car.

“The Chinese products cannot be a threat to us as they don’t have the technology. They can take over the home video or stereo system, but car accessories are much difficult to be duplicated,” Goindi said.


New Delhi, Jan. 20: 
Bajaj Auto Ltd, the country’s largest scooter maker, isn’t taking part at the Auto Expo. Right? Wrong. And then again ...ummm... maybe.

Bajaj Auto and top carmaker Maruti Udyog were the leading companies that dropped out of this year’s Auto Expo. Maruti held its own auto carnival on Friday where it showcased the Ignis, its next compact car offering, and the Grand Vitara, a sports utility vehicle.

However, Bajaj sneaked into the fair—and quietly showcased an electric rickshaw in an obscure corner of the Auto Expo. It took up an area of almost 8 sq m to display its product.

The Bajaj product rubbed shoulders with some electric-driven three-wheeler models made by other manufacturers like Mahindra and Mahindra, TVS and Scooters India Ltd.

The theme for the display was environment-friendly vehicles, inaugurated by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Bajaj paid below Rs 50,000 for the display; the Expo organisers CII and SIAM are selling outdoor space at the fair at Rs 5,500 per square metre.

CII Head of Trade Fairs Piyush Bahal confirmed the ‘token participation and said that it was up to each company to decide whether or not to participate at the fair.


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