New Delhi: The government has no immediate plan to raise the 5% import tax on steel and the country will encourage domestic use of iron ore rather than exports, Union steel minister Virbhadra Singh told reporters on Wednesday.
“We are closely watching the situation and there is no case of increase in import duty,” he told reporters at a conference.
Domestic steel makers have been seeking higher import taxes to protect themselves from cheap imports.
Indian steel consumption is seen rising 6 to 8% in 2009-10, the minister said.
“I strongly believe that Indian steel consumption will continue to grow at a pace varying between 6 to 8% during the current financial year,” Singh said.
“As a result of the various timely measures adopted by the government the steel industry in India could soon come out of the shadow of economic slowdown,” he said.
The industry recorded a growth rate of 3% in January-March 2009, followed by 5.3% increase in consumption and 3.4% growth in steel production during the first quarter of the current financial year.