An industry body in Gujarat has strongly opposed imposition of minimum import price (MIP) on steel products, saying it will lead to closure of units in Kutch region of the State and also other parts of the country.
The Federation of Kutch Industries Association (FOKIA) said it has raised the issue with the Centre and demanded discontinuation of the measure.
Talking to PTI here today, Nimesh Phadke, Managing Director of FOKIA, said “we raised this issue in a meeting called by Chaudhury Birendra Singh, Union Steel Minister, in New Delhi on July 28. He had convened the meeting to discuss the issue of MIP, safeguard and anti-dumping duties on steel products.
“Singh asked representatives of FOKIA and other associations to explain their difficulties and sought their views on how to revive the steel industry.”
To aid domestic companies, the Government imposed MIP in February 2016 on 173 steel products for a period of six months (ending in August) to help cut inbound shipments.
If this measure continues, revival of the steel industry will become difficult, he said, adding in the era of globalisation, imposition of MIP is an “anti-reformist” move.
Consequent to heavy duties being imposed on the steel products, the raw material costs have gone side in the past five months and also resulted in loss of jobs, he said.
For example, raw material cost for saw pipe has increased from after MIP. Kutch, being the world’s largest hub in terms of capacity for submerged arc-welding pipe manufacturing (SAW), is being adversely affected, Phadke said.
“There are instances where, in international bidding, our industries are losing contracts due to cost factor. The domestic steel process industries and micro, small and medium enterprises, scattered all over the country, will have to shut their shops if the MIP on raw materials continues for a further period (beyond August),” he said.
The Minister gave a patient hearing to representatives of various industry bodies on issues pertaining to steel industries and assured them the Centre will take appropriate action in the interest of the sector, Phadke added.