The minimum price will remain in place for six months only. However, it will not apply on imports under the advance authorisation scheme and high-grade pipes used in the petroleum and natural gas industry.

While the major steel producers hailed the government's decision, the user industry cried foul, saying it would impact prices of raw materials.

Taking a similar view, the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association said this may slightly help the ailing steel sector. However, it expressed disappointment that stainless steel products have been left out of the ambit of the MIP mechanism.

Welcoming the development, the Indian Steel Association Secretary General Sanak Mishra said this will provide some relief to the steel industry in the face of a large volume of cheap imports at predatory prices.

Furthermore, the notification said imports/shipments under the letter of credit already entered into with foreign suppliers will also be exempted from this decision.

On products like corrugated flat-rolled products of iron/non-alloy steel, MIP ranged between USD 643 and USD 752. Further flat-rolled products of other alloy steel of a width of 600 mm or more, MIP reads between USD 445 and USD 752.

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