The Union budget has opened the floodgates for imports of Chinese stainless-steel with temporary revocation of anti-dumping and countervailing duties, which is expected to hurt domestic manufacturers of such product, an industry body said on Monday. Suspension of these duties will undermine domestic manufacturing with an adverse impact on employment generation and defeat the 'Make in India' movement, Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) said.
"This is a big unintentional gift to Chinese companies and will severely hit the domestic stainless-steel industry, which has been in financial stress for more than a decade. "Imports from Indonesia rose from just 8,601 MT in FY2017-18 to 76,102 MT in FY2018-19 and 280,575 MT in FY2019- 20. This will not only hamper Indian production but will turn many MSME manufacturers into traders," ISSDA president K K Pahuja said.
The government on Monday announced slashing of import duties on a number of steel items to provide relief to MSMEs, which have been hit hard by the high cost of raw materials. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech for 2021-22 said the anti-dumping duty (ADD) and countervailing duty (CVD) have also been revoked on certain steel products.
The CVD has temporarily been revoked on imports of certain hot rolled and cold rolled stainless steel flat products, originating in or exported from China. Provisional CVD has been revoked on imports flat products of stainless steel, originating in or exported from Indonesia.
The stainless steel constitutes only three per cent of the total steel requirement of the country, but comprises over 35 per cent MSME suppliers, who will be adversely affected by this decision, the industry body said.