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With call for protectionism growing across the globe, domestic markets are also required to be protected against unfair trade practices, a senior steel ministry official said on Tuesday. "When big and established economies are protecting their industries, we need to be clear that our domestic markets are also required to be protected against unfair trade practices," said Syedain Abbasi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel. He said the steel ministry has gone the extra mile to protect the domestic players from cheap imports. "Steel industry is very clear about it which is why after the issue of MIP... Antidumping duties, what we have in place is a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products," he said. On May 3, the government approved the National Steel Policy that aims to achieve steel making capacity of 300 million tonnes by 2030 with an additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore. The Cabinet has also approved a policy for use of domestic steel products in government organisations. Abbasi said that the budget for infrastructure has also gone up this year.
Huge investments will be made in oil & gas, slurry pipelines, ports shipping, airports etc.However, these are also the areas affected by unfair foreign competition. For the protection of domestic players, the government has imposed antidumping duties on certain steel products so cheap items cannot enter the country, he said. "Steel industry is poised... The only country which is showing growth in terms of market growth is India. Two years back we were fourth largest steel producer, now we have become second largest, overtaking Japan," the official said. Indian steel sector is growing at a rate of 6-7 per cent per annum in terms of production.