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Govt likely to extend safeguard duty on some steel products

Govt likely to extend safeguard duty on some steel products

The government is likely to extend safeguard duty of up to 20 percent on certain steel products till March 2018, to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports from nations like China.

The Board of Safeguards (BoS) in its meeting last week had recommended to the Finance Ministry on the restrictive duty. “A notification on the issue will soon be released by the Finance Ministry as the safeguard duty comes to an end on March 31,” an official said adding, the BoS has suggested that the framing of duty should be structured in such a manner that they do not violate any international norms.

According to another source, minimum import price (MIP) and safeguard duty can not be imposed simultaneously as per norms. After imposing a provisional safeguard duty, the government in February fixed minimum import price on 173 steel products ranging between USD 341 to USD 752 per tonne. In September last year, the government imposed provisional the safeguard duty of 20 percent on import of certain categories of steel.

The duty will be applicable only for a period of 200 days, during which period the inquiry would be completed by Directorate General of Safeguards, it had said. Earlier this month, the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) recommended continuing restrictive duties of up to 20 percent till March 31, 2018.

DGS, under the finance ministry, recommended a 20 percent ad valorem safeguard duty in the first year from September 14, 2015 to September 13, 2016 on hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy steel in coils of 600 mm width or more.

It has also suggested an 18 percent duty in the first half of second year and 15 percent in the second half of that year. For the first six months of the the third year from September 14, 2017 to March 13, 2018, it has recommended 10 percent anti-dumping duty.