NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has a strong case for imposing long-term anti-dumping duties on up to 124 steel products in the next two months, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said, as part of efforts to curb cheaper imports and protect local firms.
Indian steelmakers such as JSW Steel, Tata Steel, and Steel Authority of India have lobbied the government to take more measures to protect them from cheaper imports from China, Japan and South Korea.
"Since this is a quasi-judicial process, there is a strong case for making long-term arrangements on anti-dumping," Sharma told Reuters.
She said long-term anti-dumping duties could be imposed on a case-by-case basis within the next two months before the temporary anti-dumping duties lapse.
On Tuesday, India extended temporary anti-dumping duties on hot-rolled and cold-rolled flat products of alloy or non-alloy steel by another two months.
The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), which functions under the trade ministry, is yet to conclude an investigation on imposing long-term duties.
"On anti-dumping and safeguard, the DGAD is on very strong ground," Sharma said.
Goutam Chakraborty, an analyst at Emkay Global Financial Services in Mumbai, said anti-dumping duties are unlikely to impact local industry given that world steel prices remain high.
Last week, India did not extend the minimum import price (MIP), a short-term emergency measure, and instead switched to WTO-compliant anti-dumping duties.
The floor price, or the MIP, was introduced for six months in February 2016, the first time the government had taken such a step in more than 15 years.
Between April and January, India's steel imports fell 37.8 percent year-on-year, data of a government body showed, primarily due to the imposition of MIP.
(Editing by David Evans)