'Steel imports have come down by 1/4th'

'Steel imports have come down by 1/4th'

Aiming to protect the interest of domestic steel makers, the Centre has brought down the import of steel through various measures for the past few months.

“Through various measures like import and safeguard duty, minimum import price and quality control order, the ministry has curtailed steel imports by almost one-fourth in April-February period this fiscal,” Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters here. During last fiscal, imports of the metal had risen by about 71%, he added.

The minister said the checks were needed to protect the domestic industry, as the global downturn led to countries, including China dumping cheap steel in India, which has impacted the sales and profits of the companies.

India has become the world’s third largest steel producer last year, leaving behind the US, he said. “Since May 2014, steel companies, including state-run SAIL and RINL, have added 16 million tonnes of capacity with an investment of around Rs 1 lakh crore," he said.

India’s steel production rose 7.9% to 88.12 MT in 2014-15 fiscal compared with the previous fiscal. On the ongoing first phase of mine auctions, Tomar said, out of the 43 blocks offered, six have been auctioned.

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