Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the steel sector has started turning around as a result of the government measures to protect domestic supplies from imported cheap Chinese steel.
"The steel sector was suffering from the cheap Chinese steel coming in at below cost prices so we raised the custom duty, imposed safeguard duty and we also imposed the minimum import price.
"As a result of all the measures, the steel sector started turning around, " he said.
Import of total finished steel was at 11. 20 million tonnes in 2015 - 16, up 20. 2 percent compared to same period of last year.
Imports in March 2016 at 0. 994 mt increased by 18. 2 percent compared to March 2015 and 9. 1 percent compared to February 2016. India was a net importer of total finished steel during fiscal 2015 - 16.
In February 2016, the government had imposed the minimum import price (MIP) condition on imports of 173 steel items covering all major flat and long steel products.
"The government in March 2016 extended the safeguard duty on hot rolled coil (a steel product) imports that was placed in September 2015, till March 2018, " said a steel ministry report.
However, the duty would be reduced to 10 percent in stages over the next two years, it said.
The report said cumulative impact of these two recent and other existing policy measures would lead to further reduction in imports into the country in the coming days.