No case for import duty hike, Govt tells steel majors

No case for import duty hike, Govt tells steel majors

No case for import duty hike, Govt tells steel majors

Union Minister of Steel Virbhadra Singh inaugurating the 3rd India Steel Summit in New Delhi on Wednesday. Assocham President Sajjan Jindal (left), Tata Steel Managing Director B Muthuraman (right) & Sail Chairman S K Roongta (2nd from right) are flanking the minister. PTI

 “There is no case for increasing import duty on steel products (as of now),” Virbhadra Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the Steel Summit here.

He, however, said the government is keeping a close vigil on the situation and would intervene in future if necessary. “We are watching the situation very closely. If in future we think that the intervention from the government is necessary, we will think about it,” he said.

Mum on divestment

Steel imports have declined by 5.3 per cent to 1.41 million tonnes, from 1.49 million tonnes in April-June period of this fiscal over the year-ago period. In June alone imports fell by 23 per cent, minister added. Steel exports went down by a steep 38 per cent to 0.64 million tonnes as against 1 million tonnes in the same period last year, Steel Secretary P K Rastogi added.

Singh, was non-committal on stake sale in steel PSUs like SAIL, NMDC, RINL. “Disinvestment will be decided later,” he said. Earlier, appealing the industry to maintain the price line at a level commensurate with the input prices, he said, “I expect the industry to maintain complete transparency on prices.”

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