Indian Steel Association (ISA), the industry body representing primary steel producers, on Tuesday urged the government to extend the minimum import price (MIP) on 66 steel products for another six months.
ISA has requested the government to favourably consider continuation of the MIP regime pertaining to imports pf 66 HS codes of iron and steel, it said in a statement.
ISA Secretary General Sanak Mishra said: "ISA states that the situation with respect to the import prices of the 66 HS codes covered under the August 4, 2016 notification continues to be at a low level and as per ISA's understanding these prices operate at predatory levels."
In a bid to protect the domestic steel firms from cheap imports, the government in February imposed MIP on 173 steel grades for six months. Then in August, while extending the MIP for two months, the government pruned the list to include 66 steel products.
Further, demand for these steel products has not yet picked up domestically. The situation would be compounded adversely if these are now imported at dismally low prices and inevitably lead to an unwarranted glut in the domestic steel market, he added.
"While petitions pertaining to anti-dumping on other steel products will be pursued concomitantly and take its due course of process till imposition, it is imperative that the August 4 notification is extended for a period of six additional months," Mishra said.
Unless this step is initiated, the global overcapacity issue, primarily emanating from China, will reinstate its pressure on Indian steel markets, he added. The situation is reaching crisis proportion, which is why globally consensus is building up to hold China accountable for its commitment to take swift steps to reduce excess overcapacity, Mishra said.