Govt to tighten import norms for steel products

To bar import of semi-finished goods that do not meet BIS standard

New Delhi, August 30

The Ministry of Steel is working on means to contain the import of semi-finished steel products in a bid to aid domestic steel companies.

Speaking to newspersons at the sidelines of the CII Steel Summit, Secretary for the Ministry of Steel, Aruna Sharma, said, “The Bureau of India Standard norms are only for stainless steel sheets therefore the industry is able to import semi-finished goods lower than that standard. We will tweak the rules in 10 to 15 days under which if the sheets have a BIS standard you will not be able to import anything below that quality.”

In 2015, the Centre had extended the levy of 57 per cent anti-dumping duty on stainless steel products of up to 1,250 mm width originating from China for another five years.

By extending the BIS norms only products that will be compliant under the standards will be allowed to be imported. Local stainless steel manufacturers say that widths above 1,250 mm were being imported only to circumvent the anti-dumping duty.

“Import trends suggested that these higher width stainless steels were ultimately being slit into narrower widths. By doing so, the importers circumvented the existing duties, resulting in revenue loss to the government,” said a stainless steel manufacturer.

In a statement to the exchanges, Jindal Stainless had said that the threat from sub-standard imports from China continued unabated.

Imports of stainless steel flat products in India increased to over 42,000 tonnes in June 2017, from over 19,000 tonnes in April, thereby distorting fair market pricing.

Published on August 30, 2017

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