New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) The government will take a decision on fixing the minimum import price (MIP) of steel, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said on Monday.
“On the MIP on steel, there has been a lot of discussions on the steel sector and the difficulties being faced by the integrated steel units. There is also the downstream sector, which has been representing and arguing for their continuing access to low cost imported steel to balance the domestic supplies,” Teaotia told reporters here.
A decision on the matter “is to be taken by the government”, she added.
Noting that up until the last fiscal, India’s imports were about 9 percent of what it consumed Teaotia said: “The peak that we reached is 15 percent.”
“Nevertheless, 85 percent of the steel (requirement) is met domestically. This is the bottom-line that we continue to utilise domestic steel largely. So imports are not a huge element of our total steel consumption,” she said.
Teaotia also said the country has considerable installed capacity, which is operating at about 80 percent that is resulting in higher load factors than the rest of the world, which averages about 68-70 percent.
India’s domestic steel industry has been repeatedly voicing its concern about cheap imports from China flooding local markets.
In this connection, industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday that the major challenge to India’s competitiveness is coming from China in various forms with a sizeable influence of currency valuation.
The Chinese yuan’s devaluation, the third in the last five months, will negatively impact Indian companies that export to China in areas such as tyres, pharmaceuticals, steel and organic chemicals textiles due to a volatile change in terms of trade, it said.