Indian Govt to bring 18 steel products under quality control order

14 April 2015

The government is set to bring 18 steel products, including hot-rolled (HR) coil and cold-rolled (CR) coil, under an extant quality control order for the sector, taking the number of steel items under it to 33. The objective is to ensure better quality for domestic end-use industries and putting brakes on galloping imports of the alloy.

The proposal, pending concurrence from the BIS, follows the persistent demand of domestic steelmakers, who have been struggling to sell their products as a result of dumping of products, including seconds and defectives, by China, Japan, Korea and Russia, among others. A steel ministry source said a list of products to be brought under quality control has been sent to the BIS nearly one-and-a-half months ago for its concurrence. As soon as it comes, the norms wills be implemented. “The commerce ministry had directed us nearly two years ago to improve quality on 40 items. Subsequently, 15 items were brought under the Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2012 in October last year.

We have a fresh list of 18 items where quality control is required after consulting stakeholders for BIS consultation,” said the official.

These 18 items account for nearly 70% of the total imports, which stood at 9.32 mt last fiscal. The order would also apply to domestic steelmakers. The steel industry is not averse to the idea, hoping that it would provide them some cushion from imports, which grew 71% in 2014-15 over the previous fiscal.

The government insists on improving the quality of the products, which has a direct bearing on the safety and security of human beings and infrastructure. While it ensures better products, it also acts as a guard against imports of inferior quality products.