Govt plans to help steel industry in 2 months till Oct: Minister
Government extended the minimum import price (MIP) on 66 steel products for a period of two months till October 4.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18's Anshu Sharma, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said that most items are covered under the anti-dumping duty and the government is looking at more measures to help the industry in this period of 2 months.
He said that the steel industry all across the world is under pressure and the ministry would see if other products can be brought under MIP for six months.
Below is the verbatim transcript of Chaudhary Birender Singh’s interview to Anshu Sharma on CNBC-TV18.
A: You has sent a proposal of all the products to be a part of minimum import price (MIP) but the current notification which has been extended has been only extended for 66 products will that be feasible for the industry, your reaction?
A: When there was no anti-dumping safeguard which are long-term safeguards for steel industry, now anti dumping has been declared and I think most of the items are covered now under anti-dumping. I mean out of 173 now 63 items are left and those are given protection under MIP.
This MIP is only for two months, it is very simple that when we suggested some more items to be included in MIP now we would be left with sufficient time to see that the items which are required to be made in the list should be thoroughly seen and examined whether it would give relief to the industry.
Also in the mean time we would be finding measures to be taken under anti-dumping act. So that anti-dumping measures are made more simpler because anti dumping measures are for five years.
So, this is what we wanted that if we want to protect the industry which is emerging industry, are being the third largest steel producing country we wanted that there should be some long-term measures and that is how anti-dumping is imposed.
Q: Will this all three duties which is anti dumping duty as well as safeguard and inclusion of 33 extensions for minimum import price will that we enough to turn around the steel sector which is currently under the financial crisis in term of turning nonperforming asset (NPA)?
A: This is not only in our country. Industry is under stress in the world itself. Most of the countries where production has been 30 percent more than their consumption, what they are doing is they are dumping their excess production in other countries. In India there is a steady increase of between 6-7 percent every year that is the requirement consumption.
So, to avoid this and to see that our production which is nearly now 90 million that should first be seen at least that should be consumed by our country so that the industry which is suffering because of drastic slowdown in the industry or the prices have gone down rapidly in the last two years.
That is most important if there is a stabilisation in the prices and that too where they can have breakeven. So, this is what we are trying for.
Q: Steel ministry had proposed inclusion of pipes and tubes under minimum import price. What happens to that since there is no safeguard anti-dumping or minimum import price for those products and will two months be enough for the 66 products?
A: MIP is for 60 days that doesn’t mean that it is for 60 days. During these 60 days we would be applying our mind for other products which can be made part of that if we want that it should extend for six months. So, that is why this is a stop gap arrangement in a sense.
Q: What expectations you have from the industry now that the government has put in all the measures in place?
A: My expectations are very clear. This cannot be a permanent device so that industry should thrive upon that. That is not my intention, my intention is very clear we are not just to make sure this kind of spoon feeding. The way if 60 days or may be six months I have already made clear that now on one hand when we are protecting the interest of the industry on the other hand we would see that there should be a road map.
That should be with the consultation of the major players of the industry. So, that they should ensure us that what way they are going to improve upon their efficiency, their production and also to make sure that they should be competitive worldwide.
Q: Scrappage import has surged, so is there any plan to include scrappage under MIP?
A: That is why I told you this is 60 days thing. Let us see, which are the items which should not be and which should be added.