Local Indian stainless producers criticize lowering of import tariffs, users hail move to cut costs

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 12:24:00 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

The Indian domestic stainless steel manufacturing industry has strongly criticized the national budget 2021-22 placed before the Indian parliament on Monday, February 1, for lowering import tariff protection and ‘opening up floodgates of imports from China’, a statement by the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) said on Tuesday, February 2.

“The temporary suspension of countervailing duty (CVD) and antidumping (AD) duties on stainless steel flat products has been a big unintentional gift to Chinese companies, which will hit the domestic stainless steel industry very badly, which has been in financial stress for more than a decade. For Chinese companies in Indonesia, this translates into heavy flooding of the Indian market with duty free imports under ASEAN FTA,” K K Pahuja, president of the ISSDA, said.

“Imports from Indonesia skyrocketed from just 8,601 mt in 2017-18 to 76,102 mt in 2018-19 and 280,575 mt in 2019-20. This will not only hamper Indian production but will turn many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into traders,” he said.

However, stainless steel user industries and forging units have welcomed the lowering of tariffs, claiming it will reduce the cost of production and make user industries more competitive. “The recent sharp rise in iron ore steel prices had affected MSMEs and other industries. The positive step of lowering import duties in stainless steel will contribute to better raw material prices and reduced input costs,” Vikas Bajaj, president of the Association of Indian Forging Industry, said.

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