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Auto firms say steel import norms will delay manufacturing

With the new steel import norms set to kick in on 17 February, after the ministry gave an extension of two months, the Indian auto industry has told the government it won’t be able to comply with new curbs on local manufacturers using imported steel and sought at least a year’s time to comply with the new norms at a 7 January meeting with steel ministry officials. Auto executives told “The new steel import norms can delay manufacturing and are unrealistic. Indian steel makers do not manufacture special grade steel, leaving domestic auto companies to turn to South Korean and Japanese steel makes, who do not necessarily see the need to get Indian certification.”

Foreign steel makers need to get Indian certification for high-grade steel products being used by Indian auto manufacturers. Indian auto manufacturers complain it will take at least six months to get certification for high grade imported steel and that foreign manufacturers may not be interested in getting certification due to the low volumes involved.

The report quoted a person as saying that “The automobile industry requires specialized steel for manufacturing engine parts, exhaust pipes, fuel systems and other parts which are imported and automobile companies have increased the usage of steel manufactured by local companies in the recent past. The government should understand that it’s a cumbersome task to get these foreign steel manufacturers to get BIS certification and it will take time. Hence the industry asked for a time for a year.”

On 20 June, the steel ministry issued a notification stating that steel items cannot be produced, sold, traded, imported or stocked unless they bear the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) mark. Foreign suppliers have to obtain BIS registration and domestic manufacturers have to get the certification mark licences. The import control measure is aimed at protecting the domestic steel industry.
Source : MINT
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