Saturday, Aug 13 2022 | Time 02:42 Hrs(IST)
Business Economy

MSMEs seek Govt intervention on domestic steel input prices

New Delhi, Dec 10 (UNI) Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has urged steel manufacturers to explore the possibilities of offering relief to small industries and exporters who have raised issues about steel input prices.
The Minister has called for taking special care of the need of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises for easier and cost effective supply of steel at a recent meeting convened with industry, export bodies and other stakeholders.
A number of initiatives have been taken to address concerns of MSMEs including the Production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for specialty steel launched by the Government which is aimed at ensuring raw material security for steel sector focused on iron ore and coal and support to MSMEs of the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) for promotion of exports. In Union Budget 2021, the government reduced customs duty to 7.5% on semis, flat and long products of non-alloy, alloy and stainless steels to provide relief to MSMEs. As per EEPC analysis of exports figures for the month of September, iron and steel exports jumped 136% year-on-year to US$ 2.2 billion. The issue, EEPC sources told UNI, is that prices of domestic steel have doubled over the last one year and the uncertainty over the end price hurts the competitiveness of MSMEs exporting engineering goods.
Steel industry stakeholders have shown intent to support small and medium enterprises and exporters but the reality is often different. A roadmap on ‘steering India into a USD $5 trillion economy with steel’ from Ernst & Young points out that the MSME and capital goods sectors in India, utilising steel as an input raw material, exports most of its machinery products with high steel components to the US, UK, Germany, Mexico and UAE, whereas imports a majority of capital goods from South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong China and Vietnam. The inadequacy of scale for manufacturing for engineering grade steels has kept the Indian steel manufacturers from committing capacities to the industrial and engineering sector.
Goyal has asked the steel industry stakeholders to assess the manufacturing costs and explore the possibilities of offering relief to MSMEs using steel as input for manufacturing of components and other engineering products. Industry has assured small enterprises and exporters about finding affordable solutions to address their challenges especially in the wake of the pandemic. It is a wait and watch situation, says EEPC. The meeting was attended by Minister of Steel Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, Minister of MSMEi Narayan Tatu Rane, Chairperson of SAIL Soma Mondal, Chairman and Managing Director of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Atul Bhatt, Chairman and Managing Director of JSW Steel Sajjan Jindal, CEO and MD of Tata Steel TV Narendran, stakeholders from the exporters’ organisations and industry associations.
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