Industry associations demand ban on steel export

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Jalandhar, Apr 7 (UNI) The Association of Indian Forging Industry (AIFI) along with other associations has called upon policy makers for support to keep the forging industry to stay competative in the international market.

Addressing a joint press conference here today, AIFI's representative Jagdish Singh, along with members of the other associations of traders dealing in steel products, said the spiraling steel prices in the country, which have shot up to 30 per cent in the last three months, has crippled the industry while mostly dependent on steel.

Mr Singh said, ''the situation in the domestic market is grim as Indian forging manufacturers face the onslaught on Chinese component of imports which are 15-25 per cent cheaper.'' If the situation continued, the Chinese industries would flood the Indian auto components, hand tools, bicycle and casting industry, leading to closing down of thousands of units and millions umemployed, he warned.

Even the steep increase in the steel scrap and pig iron price have had a negative effect on the competativeness of the casting industry, he added.

He said, ''India's status as a global small car hub and also major sourcing country for the vehicular industry is under severe threat and India will also lose its status as a global auto component supplier, if the situation in not addressed immidiately.'' Suggesting immediate actions from the policy makers to alleviate the situation, he said the government should put a ban on export of steel or levy export duty on the pattern of China. There should be a cap on iron ore export or levy export duty to the tune of 25 per cent on iron ore as China did on coke exports, he said adding that import duty on pig iron and met coke too should be reduced to nil.

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