Steel Ministry Seeks Removal Of Quality Strictures On Imports

New Delhi, Nov 6: | Updated: Nov 7 2003, 05:30am hrs
The steel ministry has asked the commerce ministry to withdraw notification whereby all imports of steel had to be conformed to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification and standards.

The move would help the consumers to readily access their requirements of steel and help promote consumption of steel in the country as well as stabilising prices, minister for steel Braja Kishore Tripathy told a press conference here.

He said there would be no compromise on the quality of steel. Imports would be monitored to ensure that defective steel was not dumped here.

On the other hand, Mr Tripathy said that there is no move to intervene to check soaring steel prices since last 18 months which has hit the consumer industry hard.

The government has no role to play in it, Prices are market driven, the movement in international prices is reflected in domestic prices, he said.

The minister said that whenever international steel prices go up, the domestic manufacturers match the prices. But I have asked all the major steel producers to increase the prices rationally and they have accepted it,he added.

Appreciating the performance of public sector undertakings such as Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) under the steel ministry, Mr Tripathi said all the PSUs have improved their bottomlines.

The minister said steps should be taken to increase steel consumption in the country which is hovering around 29 kg per capita annually against over 400 kg in the developed countries.

In tune with the vision of the country becoming a developed economy by 2020, the ministry of steel is in the process to formulate a steel policy with a major thrust on measures to increase consumption of steel.

The advantages associated with usage of steel are to be brought to the notice of the common man, Mr Tripathi said adding that ministry has formulated a strategy to work on this.

Mr Tripathi said that steel exports have done exceedingly well in the first six months as these have been estimated to be 2.65 million tonnes showing an increase of 35.6 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last year.