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Steel consumers, who are feeling the pinch of high price of the metal in the Indian market, have demanded a policy intervention from the Centre to prevent steel producers from exporting steel below the domestic prices. Several industry bodies have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention.
"The domestic steel should be supplied to the downstream industry at a price which is at par with international price," said the Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER), an apex industry association of the region in a statement. The Federation of Industries of India also demanded "steel should be supplied to the downstream industry at a price that must at least be equal to the price, at which the domestic steel mills export the metal." Steel consumers associations have also strongly opposed the call from primary manufacturers to impose a 25 per cent safeguard duty saying, the move will only increase prices and impact the economy badly. Indian Steel Association had sought a 25 per cent safeguard duty on imports to curtail dumping after the US and the EU (European Union) set up tariff and quota barriers. The FINER also highlighted that any imposition of an additional duty in any form on steel goods will have a "retrograde effect" on the downstream industries and millions of labourers will become jobless, defeating the objective of the government to create jobs. "Domestic price is higher by about Rs 5000 per tonne compared to export price of steel makers. And we import products of certain specifications which is not supplied by the domestic steelmakers," welded steel tubes and pipes maker Nezone Group Chairman M L Beswal said. "We want a level playing field. At least government can announce domestic steel price as the floor price for any exports will allow some respite to our industry.