The battle over shoe imports from China is hotting up. The Directorate General of Antidumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), part of the commerce ministry, has recommended that a provisional anti-dumping duty of $6.27 per pair on all unbranded and low priced sports shoes.

But three brands - Nike, Reebok and Adidas - have been explicitly singled out as recommended for exemption.

The antidumping duties will come into effect once the finance ministry's revenue department takes out a notice in the Gazette of India. The duties will be recommended by the DGAD after completing detailed investigations.

DGAD's provisional probe found that India's domestic industry was suffering from depressed prices, decline in market share and losses to domestic manufacturers because of the dumping of Chinese shoes. Domestic players' market share declined from 74.1 per cent for the year ended 31st March 2000 to 57.8 per cent during April-September 2000.

Low-priced shoes from China are causing big problems for the domestic industry. As just-style reported last month, Bata's trial order of 170,000 pairs leather shoes from China sent shivers down the spines of branded shoe makers in India, who collectively account for a mere 20 per cent of shoe sales by volume.

By Navroz Havewala