The Government has taken various steps to ramp up production of iron ore and steel to increase their domestic availability e.g. grant of permission to Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) to sell 25% fresh fines and 70 Million Ton dumps and tailings, accelerating auction of iron-ore fines by SAIL and early operationalization of forfeited working mines of Odisha by the State and Central PSUs etc. Further, in the Budget 2021-22, following measures have been announced:-
(i) Reduction in Basic Customs Duty on Semis, certain flat products of non-alloy steel and alloy steel, long products of non-alloy, alloy and stainless steel to 7.5%.
(ii) Reduction in Basic Custom Duty for specified period on Iron and Steel Scrap to ‘Nil’.
(iii) Reduction in Basic Custom Duty on raw material for manufacture of CRGO from 2.5% to ‘Nil’.
(iv) Temporary revocation of Anti-Dumping Duty (ADD)/Countervailing Duty (CVD) on (a) Straight Length Bars and Rods (b) High-Speed Steel of Non-Cobalt Grade (c) Aluminum-Zinc coated flat rolled steel product (d) Cold rolled and hot rolled stainless steel products.
(v) Revocation of CVD on Flat products of Stainless-Steel and discontinuation of ADD on Cold Rolled Flat Stainless-Steel Products.
(vi) Reduction in Basic Customs Duty on Copper Scrap from 5% to 2.5%.
Steel, being a deregulated sector, the domestic steel price is determined by various factors like demand and supply, trends in prices of raw materials and is also influenced by global conditions. The important factors contributing to increase in prices of steel in recent months, inter-alia, include the demand-supply mismatch following Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and gradual unlocking. The solar power developers in their interactions with the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy have indicated that there has been volatility in prices of inputs/ raw material for solar power plants including increase in prices of steel used in solar power projects. However, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has not received any formal report on the issue of solar EPC companies being adversely affected on this account.
This information was given by the Union Minister for Steel Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.