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Steel ministry seeks commerce ministry's urgent intervention to protect domestic players

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Steel ministry seeks commerce ministry's urgent intervention to protect domestic players

Steel ministry seeks commerce ministry's urgent intervention to protect domestic players
The steel ministry has sought urgent intervention of the commerce ministry on tariff issues to protect the domestic production of the metal.
The commerce ministry has been advised to recast anti-dumping norms and urged caution on negotiating zero duty trade of steel through proposed mega Free Trade Agreements like RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement ) that has 16 nations including India and China, sources told CNBC-TV18 on Wednesday.
According to the sources, the steel ministry maintains that the anti-dumping duties imposed on imports of the metal have become ineffective. That is because the reference price that is used to impose anti-dumping duty has become outdated.
Anti-dumping duty is used by countries to impose an additional import tax on items which see a sudden and large spike in imports that impacts sales of domestic factories. A quasi-judicial process is used to determine the extent of injury caused to the domestic players and a reference price is fixed. If the imported item is below the reference price, then anti-dumping duty is imposed on it.
The steel ministry has sought a review of the reference price on steel items on which anti-dumping duty is imposed as they were determined based on data gathered between July and December 2015. Since then, the steel ministry maintains that the factors like input costs that went into determining the reference price have changed.
The ministry also urged the commerce department to change the norms used to levy anti-dumping duty. Currently, India uses “Lesser Duty Rule” while imposing anti-dumping duty while all other countries have moved away from it. The ministry has sought change in customs norms so that anti-dumping duty can be imposed on the full dumping margin of items.
In addition, the ministry has shared data with the commerce department showing that the import of steel items through FTAs have spiked as no duty is charged. It has recommended that the steel sector should be kept out of proposed mega FTAs like RCEP due to concerns that steel imports from China would flood the Indian market.
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