South Korea Current Affairs - 2020

India turns out to be Net Steel Importer in 2018-19 Fiscal

For the first time in three years, India was the net importer of steel during the financial year 2018-19. This was attributed to India losing market share among its traditional steel buyers and an increase in imports of higher-quality steel domestically.

Indian Steel Exports

  • Indian steel exports fell by 34 percent to 6.36 million tonnes in the fiscal year that ended in March 2019.
  • India’s exports during the fiscal year 2018-19 declined after rival steelmakers in China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia who were blocked from markets in the United States and Europe by tariffs and other protectionist measures, ate away at the India’s markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Indian Steel Imports

  • During the 2018-19 financial year, India’s finished steel imports rose 4.7 percent to 7.84 million tonnes.
  • Imports from the China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia also increased as they diverted supply into India after the tarrif and other protectionist measures in the US and EU.

The Ministry of Steel has urged local automakers to cut Japanese and South Korean imports to support domestic producers but the automakers who are the biggest importers of the high-quality steel say they cannot get the quality of steel they need locally. On the other hand Indian steel companies have sought imposition of higher duties on imports.

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Health Ministry Urged to Frame Law to Ban Manufacture, Sale of e-cigarettes

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries has urged the Health Ministry to frame law banning manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in the country as in the absence of the domestic legislation, it would not be possible to put a blanket ban on its imports.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries has stated that without banning domestic sale and manufacturing of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) through law, it will be an infringement of global trade norms to put an import ban.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise a solution, which a user then inhales. The main constituents of the solution, in addition to nicotine, are propylene glycol.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had asked the commerce ministry to issue a notification banning the import of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes and flavoured hookah. To put the ban into effect the Commerce Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to frame rules regarding the domestic sale and manufacturing so that the Ministry of Commerce and Industries can go ahead with imposing of the blanket ban on the imports.

As per the World Health Organization report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2017, governments of 30 countries which includes Mauritius, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have already banned the Electronic cigarettes.

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