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No minimum import price extension on 19 products: Steel Secretary

There would be no extension of the minimum import price on 19 products, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said on Monday.

"Two months back, we had announced minimum import price (MIP) on 19 items. We intervened and 19 items were kept under minimum import price so that traders do not bring these to India and resort to dumping. Today 124 items are there in anti-dumping duty. These are now WTO compliant," Sharma told BTVi in an interview.

Sharma said that looking at the scenario in steel industry now, the production and exports have gone up while imports have gone down.

It was a right step to protect Indian steel industry, she said.

"We are keeping a watch and can re-introduce it when the need arises," she added.

In the sector, 57 per cent contribution is from micro-small and medium entreprises, 20 per cent from public sector undertakings and 23 per cent from private sector.

The Union Budget 2017-18 has given a big boost to infrastructure sector and reduction in import duty on liquefied natural gas (LNG), nickel, hot roll coil and cold rolled coil.

"Our rule was that if whatever is not manufactured in India, import duty should be reduced. At the moment, however, there is no plan to reduce import duty on coking coal," she said.

The Secretary said, "This budget has given major focus on infrastructure. It gives great opportunity for consumption of steel in domestic areas. With strong quality production and enhancing consumption in India, if the steel sector works efficiently, there is no looking back."
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