Steel Industry urges govt action to stem rising imports in interim budget

  • Industry News
  • Jan 15,24
The steel ministry is reportedly assessing the feasibility of implementing World Trade Organization (WTO)-compliant policy measures if steel dumping is identified, primarily from China and select Southeast Asian countries.
Steel Industry urges govt action to stem rising imports in interim budget

The steel industry is anticipating the government to implement measures in the upcoming interim budget aimed at curbing the influx of inexpensive steel imports, a growing concern for the sector. During the first nine months of the current fiscal year (April-December), the country shifted to being a net importer of finished steel, registering 5.6 million tonnes (mt) in imports and 4.7 mt in exports, particularly in November.

Finished steel encompasses non-alloyed, alloyed, and stainless steel. The steel ministry executives conveyed these concerns in a meeting held last month. Domestic stakeholders have persistently urged the government to address the alleged dumping of steel, especially from markets like China and Vietnam.

The steel ministry is reportedly assessing the feasibility of implementing World Trade Organization (WTO)-compliant policy measures if steel dumping is identified, primarily from China and select Southeast Asian countries. Proposed measures include a tariff rate quota, setting limits for duty-free imports followed by safeguard duties after the quota is reached.

Another consideration is the elimination of lesser duty rules in anti-dumping investigations to expedite the process. Currently, this rule mandates that duties imposed should be less than the dumping margin if it is sufficient to alleviate the harm to the domestic industry. However, obtaining the necessary data from domestic companies for a thorough investigation causes delays.

The government appears unfazed by the rise in imports, attributing it to increased domestic demand. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Steel, highlighted the growth in Indian steel production by 12.9% year-on-year, asserting that the increased demand justifies the higher imports.

As part of budget recommendations, the steel industry is urging the government to exempt customs duty on ferronickel imports, maintain zero customs duty on pure nickel, waive customs duty on roasted molybdenum concentrate, ferromolybdenum, and ferro-nickel-molybdenum, and sustain zero customs duty on steel and stainless-steel scrap, coking coal, and PCI coal.

Source: Mint

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