Steel Industry Current Affairs
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According to Joint Plant Committee’s annual report on steel sector for the time period 2016-17, India’s import of total finished steel declined 36 % to 7.4 million tonnes (MT). At the same time, steel exports increased 102% to reach 8.2 million tonnes (MT) in the said time period. The country also fared well in terms of production as well. The production of crude steel was 97.385 MT during April-March 2016-17, which is 8.5% increase over the previous year steel production.
India is the third largest producer of crude steel after China and Japan. India has set an ambitious target for becoming the second largest in the near term. For this, the Steel Ministry has released new draft National Steel Policy of 2017, that envisages doubling of India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
Joint Plant Committee
JPC was founded in 1964 by the Ministry of Steel. It formulates guidelines for production, allocation, pricing and distribution of iron and steel materials across the country. It is the only institution which is officially empowered by the Ministry of Steel to collect data on the Indian iron and steel industry in order to create and maintain a basic, complete and non-partisan databank in this industry. Its headquarters is located in Kolkata.
The Union Government has imposed safeguard duty on import of certain steel products to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap in-bound shipments.
It was imposed by the Revenue Department on steel products like hot rolled flat sheets and plates of alloy (excluding hot rolled flat products in coil form) or non-alloy steel.
- The effective duty rate will be calculated after deducting value of goods and the anti-dumping duty payable when import price is below $504 per tonne.
- The duty arrived at would be 10% in the first year and will gradually reduce to 8% by 2018 and 6% by 2019.
The Director General (Safeguard), in his final findings in August 2016 had found that increased imports of these steel products into India have caused serious injury to the domestic producers. Thereby it was necessary to impose safeguard duty on imports of steel products into India. Earlier, India had imposed anti-dumping duty on certain cold-rolled flat steel products from four nations including China and South Korea.
What is Safeguard Duty?
The safeguard duty is tariff barrier imposed by government on the commodities to ensure that imports in excessive quantities do not harm the domestic industry. It is temporary measure undertaken by government in defence of the domestic industry which is harmed or has potential threat getting hared due to sudden cheap surge in imports.