Steel sector Current Affairs - 2019
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Ministry of Steel is planning to set up Steel Research & Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) to facilitate joint collaborative research projects in the iron and steel sector in India.
The conceptualization of SRTMI was done by a high level task force set up by the Union Ministry of Steel.
- SRTMI has been setup as a Registered Society wherein the Union Ministry of Steel is a facilitator. It is an industry driven institutional initiative.
- It will be governed and administered by a Governing Body comprising the CEOs of steel companies, domain experts and a representative from Union Ministry of Steel.
- The Director of SRTMI will carry out the executive functioning who will be assisted by appropriate supporting structure.
- Initial corpus for setting up of SRTMI is. 200 crore rupees. Union Ministry of Steel will provide 50% of corpus and the balance will be provided by participating steel companies.
The SRTMI is likely to enhance the R&D investments in the iron and steel industry to the international levels. The R&D investment of the leading steel companies in India in terms of percentage of their turnover is very low and ranges from 0.05 to 0.5% vis-à-vis upto 1%. Some of the steel companies also have formulated R&D masterplans to increase their expenditure in R&D to 1% of their turnover to meet international levels.
The Union Finance Minister has extended the safeguard duty on import of some steel products by two years i.e till March 2018.
In this regard, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a notification mentioning that safeguard duty will be reduced to 10% in stages till 2008 from current 20%.
The safeguard duty will be imposed on steel products hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy steel in coils of 600 mm width.
The duty will be on the products which are imported at or above the minimum import price (MIP), which helps to set a floor price mainly to discourage imports below this price.
The main intention of this move is to protect domestic industry from onslaught of cheap steel supplies (imports) from China amid a global glut.
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 mainly 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.