The Indian Steel Association has urged the government to enforce Quality Control Order for tin-mill steel imports.

In a submission to the Ministry of Steel, the Association said the quality certification should be made mandatory as tin steel is used for critical applications such as food, oil packaging, paint, aerosols and battery jackets.

Despite being among 145 out of 193 steel products that are included in QCO, tin-mill steel standards are still awaiting enforcement, it added.

India has been a dumping ground for over 1.5 million tonnes of non-prime tin-mill steel leading to closure of production facilities of reputed manufacturers, acting as a major deterrent for investments.

Large-scale imports and non-enforcement of tinplate under the mandatory quality control order will hamper future investments being made under the PLI scheme.

Tinplate and tin-free steel are one of the top value-added products and recyclable packaging solution to replace plastic.

Installed capacity

India has a tin plate capacity of 7.40 lakh tonnes against overall demand of about 6 lakh tonnes. Another 2.90 lakh tonne of new capacity is being added this fiscal, taking overall installed capacity to over 10 lakh tonne.

Despite the growing domestic market, capacity utilisation of tin-mills was at 70 per cent even after exporting 15-20 per cent of domestic production.

About 70-75 per cent of tin steel is used for food packagings such as edible oil, ghee, baby food, canned fruits and vegetables, beverages, and many other food products.

Developed economies have identified India as one of the major dumping destinations to salvage their defective steel, exploiting and managing the loopholes in the respective product standards, at the cost of safety and health of Indian consumers at large, said ISA.

Over 70 per cent of total tin steel imports are defective and are priced 50 per cent lower than prime tin-mill steel, it added.

If action is not taken to curb cheap imports, all the investments made using the incentive schemes will soon become non-performing asset for the banks.