NEW DELHI: Engineering goods exporters have raised concerns that the new National Steel Policy could push domestic steel prices higher making it difficult for the sector to stay competitive in the global market.
“With steel prices in India ruling 15-20 per cent higher than the global level, the preferential procurement of the basic raw material for the infrastructure and the Government projects from domestic manufacturers would further push the cost, making it extremely difficult for the engineering exporters, particularly in the SME sector, to survive,” an official release from the Engineering Export Promotion Council, India pointed out.
This will also affect the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister, it added.
While the new National Steel Policy aims at increasing the domestic supply and cut dependence on imports, it is silent on what the implications of the preferential treatment to the domestic manufacturers may be on the prices and the user industries, said TS Bhasin, Chairman of EEPC India.
“The steel industry is protected by a plethora of measures like anti-dumping and safeguard duties. Further protection to the steel makers could be a death knell for the value-added engineering sector and exports,” Bhasin said.
There are many positives in the steel policy as well, the release added.
The target to increase supply of domestic coking coal to cut dependence on imports by half and production of 300 million tonnes of steel by 2030-31 are welcome steps, said the EEPC India Chairman.