Govt protection one-sided to steel producers: FII

FII alleged that the government is providing one-sided protection to domestic steel producers.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Indian steel processing industry body Federation of Industries (FII) on Sunday alleged that the government is providing one-sided protection to domestic steel producers.

“The steel consuming industry sector has neither been consulted nor heard by the steel ministry before taking important decisions like imposing of MIP (minimum import price) and safeguard duty, increasing customs duty and also while placing steel imports under BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification scheme," the Federation of Industries in India (FII) said in a letter to the Ministry of Steel.

The government had increased import duty on steel to 12.5 percent from 5 percent to support primary producers and had imposed 20 percent safeguard duty, that would be applicable till 2018, to protect them. In addition, it had also fixed a MIP for steel ranging from $341 to $752 per tonne and brought imported steel under mandatory BIS certification scheme.

Pointing out to the government, its recent measures to protect three-four domestic steel giants including SAIL, Tata Steel and JSW by virtually banning steel imports, the letter said the decision has created enormous road blocks for the domestic downstream steel processing industrial units which are relatively smaller in size.

India has, of late, imported a significant amount of steel from the overseas markets, especially from China, whose steel industries have been overproducing the metal to support its domestic industries and to save job losses.

Last week, the government had initiated an anti-dumping investigation on inbound shipments of steel, a move which was objected by China, after major Indian steel players had written a letter to the Ministry of Commerce, complaining about the significant injury that cheap imports had caused to the domestic steel industry. 

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The Dollar Business Bureau - Jun 13, 2016 12:00 IST