The Indian Steel Association (ISA), an umbrella body of domestic steelmakers, has written to the government requesting it to issue the Steel Quality Control Order, 2015, without any further delay. This would help curb the import of sub-standard steel and would be in sync with the ‘Make in India’ campaign, they said.
The steel ministry had published a draft notification for the Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2015 and it was also put on the WTO website for 16 grades of steel products including HR plates, bars, tin plates, HR and CR sheets for comments from stakeholders on June 19. However, the gazette notification has not published yet.
“The end-user has to pay a huge replacement cost for the purchase of goods made from sun-standard grade of steel very frequently. This is causing huge loss to the consumer and the country’s economy as a whole,” ISA’s secretary-general Sanak Mishra wrote to steel secretary Anup Pujari in a recent letter.
The implementation of the quality standard is also important for the Make in India campaign aimed at turning India into a global manufacturing hub. India needs to build a quality conscious society and improve the image of the country, he added.
The products under notification are very important and have a great impact on consumer’s health and safety as well as on environment surrounding, Mishra said.
Apart from 16 proposed, India has already imposed quality control order in 15 products with the objective to ensure better quality for domestic end-use industries and putting brakes on galloping imports of the alloy particularly from China, Japan, Korea and Russia, among others.
The commerce ministry had also directed the steel ministry nearly two years ago to improve quality on 40 items. Subsequently, 15 items were brought under the Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2012 in October last year.
These 18 items account for nearly 70% of the total imports, which stood at 9.32 million tonne (MT) last fiscal. The order would also apply to domestic steelmakers. The steel industry is not averse to the idea, hoping that it would provide them some cushion from imports, which grew 71% in 2014-15 over the previous fiscal.