Steel MIP row: Industry body moves SC

By: | Published: April 23, 2016 6:27 AM

A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri posted the matter for hearing on May 12

The Indian Steel Association (ISA) on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of various petitions challenging validity of the Centre’s notification fixing minimum import price (MIP) for iron and steel products.

Aimed at curbing rising imports at predatory prices from countries like China, Japan, Korea and Russia, the government on February 5 imposed MIP in the range of $ 341 to $752 per tonne on 173 steel products for six months.

The move has immensely benefitted the domestic primary steel producers even as secondary steel producers expressed anguish as their raw material have become costlier. India has around 110 million tonne per annum steel capacity. It is the only market where steel demand is growing at 7.3% as against the negative growth in China at -3.5%.

A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri posted the matter for hearing on May 12 after it was told that the ministry of steel has also filed a similar petition seeking transfer of various petitions from high courts of Punjab and Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.

They want the transfer of petitions to avoid conflicting views by different HCs on the issue.

ISA, whose members also include major companies like JSW Steel, Essar Steel, SAIL and others, told the apex court that the industry is reeling under extreme financial pressure on account of the predatory pricing mechanism adopted by various countries like china and Korea, who are exporting steel to India.

It also argued that steel products like coil, strips, bars and rods, etc were imported into the country at prices, which are exceedingly lower and non-competitive with the similar steel products produced domestically. “As a consequence, India has turned into a net steel importer from net steel exporter. The pricing mechanism coupled with a subdued global steel sector, has pushed the Indian steel sector to the brink of an existential crises,” the petition stated.

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