Govt should reimpose import duty on steel: Roongta

Govt should reimpose import duty on steel: Roongta


New Delhi: The government should re-impose import duty on all categories of steel soon to ward off the threat of cheaper shipments from countries like China amid the global economic recession, SAIL Chairman S K Roongta today said.

As anti-dumping laws are there in India, the government should act swiftly and take precaution to safeguard the domestic steel industry, Roongta told reporters on the sidelines of a metal conference here.

Asked if SAIL is contemplating cutting production due to the slackening demand for steel, Roongta said the company’s output would be “market-oriented" and in accordance with the demand.

Even as Roongta refrained giving a clear picture of the production cut, Steel Secretary P K Rastogi had a couple of days back said that the state-run steel behemoth may have to lower output for some of its products as its offtake in October dipped by as much as 37%.

According to industry experts, demand for steel in India has nosdived by over 30% in the last few months, mainly on account of the slowdown and potential buyers putting off purchases in anticipation of prices falling further.

As a fallout of reducing demand for the commodity, steel producers have announced cutting output by over 20%.

Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel has said it would rationalise the product mix as per the current market conditions and modify the production programme to reduce output by around 20% from November.

Ruias-promoted Essar Steel and Vinod Mittal-led Ispat Industries are operating below optimum capacity.

“It is true that our steel plants are operating at about 75% of their capacities," an Essar spokesperson said.