In a statement laid on the table of the Lok Sabha today the Minister of Steel and Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that there is no proposal to specifically restrict steel imports from Northern and Eastern countries.
Steel being a deregulated sector, the role of Government is limited to be that of a facilitator for the growth of steel industry in the country. Decision relating to import of various categories of steel etc. are, therefore, the sole decision of the individual steel manufacturer or other stake holders. The increase/decrease in import of steel into the country depend on various factors like demand-supply for various items/grades of steel in the domestic market, fluctuations in value of currency, import regulations etc. As per available data for the last three years, the steel imports have increased significantly in 2014-15 and first half of 2015-16. In order to ensure only quality steel is allowed to import into the country and also ensure adequate supply of raw materials to domestic steel industry the Government has taken the following measures :
(i) To ensure that only quality steel is imported, Government has notified Steel and Steel Product (Quality Control) Order dated 12.03.12 as last amended on 04.12.14.
(ii) The Union Budget 2015-16 has raised peak rate of basic customs duty on both flat and non-flat steel to 15% from 10%.
(iii) Hiked import duty on ingots & billets, alloy steel (flat & long), stainless steel (long) and non-alloy long products from 5 % to 7.5% and non-alloy and other alloy flat products from 7.5% to 10%. This was further revised in August, 2015 on flat steel from 10% to 12.5%, long steel from 7.5% to 10% and semi-finished steel from 7.5% to 10%.
(iv) Government directed in November, 2014 that import of rebars may be strictly as per Steel Product Quality Control Order 2012 to block influx of cheap imports of boron added rebars.
(v) Government has imposed in June, 2015, an Anti-Dumping Duty for five years on imports of certain variety of hot-rolled flat products of stainless steel from China ($ 309 per tonne), Korea ($ 180 per tonne) and Malaysia ($ 316 per tonne).
(vi) In September, 2015, the Government has imposed provisional Safeguard Duty of 20% on hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy steel, in coils of a width of 600 mm or more, for a period of 200 days.