Centre extends steel import safeguard duty till March 2018
The government on Wednesday extended the safeguard duty on import of some steel products by two years, till March 2018, to protect domestic industry from onslaught of cheap supplies from China amid a global glut.
The safeguard duty of 20 per cent, which will be reduced to 10 per cent in stages over the next two years, shall not be imposed on steel products which are imported at or above the minimum import price (MIP).
MIP helps in setting a floor price, which in turn discourages steel imports below this price. The government had first imposed the safeguard duty in September last year. This duty was expiring on March 31.
After considering the findings of the Director General (Safeguards), a safeguard duty of 20 per cent will be applicable on steel imports during September 14, 2015 and September 13, 2016, the CBEC said. The Director General of Safeguards in its final investigation report on March 15 recommended safeguard duty on hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy steel be extended for two-and-a-half years effective September 14, 2015. Last month a floor price on imports was set to deter countries like China from undercutting domestic industry, the first such move in more than 15 years.
The MIP on 173 types of steel products ranged between $341 to 752 per tonne was imposed on February 5 for a period of six months. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in a notification said the 20 per cent safeguard duty would apply on import of "hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy Steel in coils of a width of 600 mm or more" till September 13, this year.