Indian budget suspends AD duty on steel imports from China

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 11:59:14 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

Indian national budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 placed before parliament on Monday has proposed to keep in suspension the antidumping (AD) duties applicable on alloy steel bars, rods and flat steel products coated or plated with zinc or aluminum imported from China, a government official said on Tuesday, February 2, elaborating on the provisions in the budget.

The official said that the proposal to suspend AD duties applicable on imports from China will have immediate effect from February 2, and shall be kept in abeyance until September 30 this year.

The AD duties on these steel products imported from China were imposed in June 2020 to cut down inward shipments of all types of items from that country in retaliation amid worsening Sino-India relations and armed conflicts at the border between the two countries.

The AD duties have been suspended in the budget in reaction to rising domestic steel prices and the resultant increase in the cost of production for consuming industries, the bulk of which are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the official said.

These enterprises account for 30 percent of India’s total manufacturing production.

As reported by SteelOrbis on February 1, the budget has also proposed the lowering of import duties to a uniform rate of 7.5 percent for imported semis, flat and long products of non-alloy, alloy and stainless steel, from levels of 10-12 percent at present.

The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), the apex representative body of engineering exporting companies which form a key steel consuming segment, has welcomed the move to lower tariffs and the suspension of AD duties and CVD, claiming it will offer a respite from the surging input costs of steel, which had been making export product prices uncompetitive in the global markets.

“Our persistent pleas with the government for reining in rising steel prices have been heard and reflected in the budget. It is a great move. The suspension of AD duties and CVD and lowering of import duties will make a significant difference to export production in the country,” Mahesh Desai, chairman of EEPC India, said.

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