Domestic steel players such as Steel Authority of India Ltd have sought a reconfiguration of the minimum import price on steel products which would include expanding the list of items covered under the measure as well an extension of the duration.
“So far, the government has heard the industry’s pleas on measures such as anti-dumping duty and minimum import price (MIP). But our only request now is that MIP should see some reconfiguration because to impose anti-dumping duty takes a lot of time,” said a senior industry official on condition of anonymity.
“The domestic market is already in a lot of distress, so we have requested the government to take up some reconfiguration in MIP and we are quite hopeful that the government will react positively to it,” the official added.
On August 5, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade extended the MIP on 66 steel products till October 4, which is now less than a month away.
Earlier, MIP was levied on 173 steel products for a duration of five months from February. The imposition of MIP helped bring down imports and aided the domestic industry to recapture a majority of the market share lost out to cheaper imports.
Apart from an extension of the MIP, the government also levied an anti-dumping duty on several hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel products coming in from countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.
“The threat of imports still looms large in today’s economy. Even if there is growth in the country, domestic players may not benefit from it unless there is adequate protection from the import threats,” the official said.
“The problem is there is a lot of overcapacity in China. They are still in a position to export 200 million tonne annually and are not reducing their production.
“They also have around 300-400 million tonne of idle capacity which they can start at the first opportunity. On top of it we have free trade agreements with South Korea and Japan,” the official said.