• Curbs expected within two weeks, says Steel Secretary Sharma
  • Minimum import price only an emergency measure, Sharma says

India is considering expanding the basket of steel products that attracts an anti-dumping tax to stem inflows of cheaper supplies into the world’s third-biggest producer.

The steel ministry is likely to levy anti-dumping taxes on some of the 66 products that are currently covered by the minimum import price rule before it expires on Oct. 4, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday. In August, India imposed anti-dumping duties on some hot and cold rolled products.

A global steel glut and a deluge of lower-priced imports from countries like China, Russia, South Korea and Japan have led India to tighten restrictions on inbound shipments to aid domestic producers. Imports have slowed in the financial year beginning in April after rising to a record 11.7 million metric tons the previous year.

“We are not against imports. But if any country is resorting to dumping at less than cost of production then definitely it’s an issue,” Sharma said. “Minimum import price is an emergency measure. It can’t be a regular measure.”

At the same time, Indian steel companies have to be aggressive in marketing their products and boosting local consumption, Sharma said.

“About 60 kilograms per capita is literally rock bottom for a country with a good trajectory of growth,” she said. India’s per capita consumption should at least double to 120 kilograms to absorb an expansion in capacity from 118 million tons to a target of 150 million tons by 2018, she said.

The steel ministry will be meeting with banks and banking associations to discuss stressed assets in the sector within the next two weeks, Sharma said.

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