Govt imposed five-year anti-dumping duties on stainless steel imports from China, the European Union and the United States on Friday, as the government tries to help local companies suffering from cheaper imports.
The government said the duties, on cold-rolled flat stainless steel products, ranged from 4.6 percent to 57.4 percent. Imports from South Korea, South Africa and Thailand will also be taxed.
The moves follows the government’s introduction of a 20 percent import tax on some steel products in September, which failed to contain losses for Indian steel companies struggling to compete under large debts and high raw material costs.
Firms including the Steel Authority of India, JSW Steel and Essar Steel have in recent months complained that surging imports are squeezing profitability.
“It’s a welcome step because today what is hurting the Indian manufacturing sector is dumping,” said Seshagiri Rao, Joint Managing Director at JSW Steel.
The Directorate General of Safeguards, a branch of the finance ministry that can impose temporary import curbs, said on Tuesday it found prima facie evidence that increases in imports “have caused or threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic producers”.
Indian Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said New Delhi will lobby for the freedom to raise tariffs temporarily to deal with import surges at upcoming World Trade Organisation talks, which begin in Nairobi next week.
Imports of iron and steel declined slightly to $6.9 billion during April-October period in the current financial year 2015/16 from $7.1 billion a year ago, Commerce and Industry Ministry data shows.