NEW DELHI: The Modi government ended the anti-dumping duty on purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Recently, RSS ideologue S. Gurumurthy was all praises for the prime minister for a step that ended Reliance's 20 years long PTA monopoly and superprofits.
"Modi govt budget has ended $160/mt antidumping duty on PTA which gave monopoly & super profits to Reliance for 20 years. The textile industry fought this duty relentlessly for 2 decades at including competition commission & SC but failed. Now 20-year injustice has been removed. Hats off," Gurumurthy, who has been an ardent Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Ambani critic of longstanding said in a tweet on Sunday, a day after the Union Budget for 2020-21 was presented.
Gurumurthy is also co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an RSS affiliate organisation and sits on the central board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
He alleged that Reliance was enjoying this monopoly for 20 years and "now this injustice has been removed". He said that the textile had been fighting this monopoly for long.
Economist Rupa Subramanya tweeted: "Modi govt itself has imposed anti-dumping duties on PTA imports many times at the behest of Reliance including as recently as August 2019. What motivated change in thinking now? And why is govt now looking at imposing duties on MEG(another polyester input)at the behest of Reliance?"
PTA producers such as Reliance Industries and Indian Oil Corp will be affected by the move with a margin squeeze as the government has abolished anti-dumping duty on the chemical, which is a raw material for synthetic textiles. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said chemicals are vital feedstocks for downstream users.
The anti-dumping duty, imposed by two orders in July 2016 and July 2019, has been revoked on PTA imported from China, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand. Reliance is the biggest PTA manufacturer in the country with a domestic capacity of 4.4 million tonnes per annum.