Dr. Inder Jit Singh appointed as the new Designated Authority: Understanding Implications and terminologies

By Hansa Sinha

It has been little over a year since Mr. A K Bhalla had been appointed as Designated Authority of DGAD succeeding Mr. J K Dadoo. You can read my earlier post explaining implications of appointing a new Designated Authority on a public/oral hearing  here. However, once again there has been a reshuffle and Dr. Inder Jit Singh IAS (Kerala Cadre) has been appointed as the Designated Authority of DGAD i.e. Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties. Dr. Singh was previously an Additional Secretary to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. In October 2016, he was appointed as Additional Secretary to the Department of Commerce. The appointment is made by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.

Let’s take a moment to understand these terms. First thing to be noted is that Dr. Singh is an Additional Secretary who is a Designated Authority. Thus his becoming a Designated Authority does not devoid him of his status as an Additional Secretary. Further it is possible that he holds other responsibilities apart from being a Designated Authority who presides over Anti-dumping and Countervailing proceedings in DGAD and delivers decisions of such investigations. In this case, the other responsibilities of Dr. Singh include Board of Safeguards, Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Foreign Trade (State Trading), Foreign Trade (M&O), India Brand Equity Fund (IBEF). While both Dr. Singh and Mr. A K Bhalla are Additional Secretaries, Mr. J K Dadoo was a Joint Secretary while holding the office of a Designated Authority. This is not an anomaly. Rule 3 of the Anti-Dumping Rules provides for Appointment of Designated Authority and the only requirement listed over there is that the said person should not be below the rank of a Joint Secretary. In hierarchy Additional Secretary comes above Joint Secretary and both assist the Cabinet Secretary.

So that was a slight peek into the Bureaucratic world and some terms related to Designated Authority. Following the order Dr. Singh has assumed responsibility of a Designated Authority and has been conducting second oral hearings in various investigations. We wish him all the very best!

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