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India to delay quality standards for auto-grade steel imports: sources

[NEW DELHI] India is likely to delay the implementation of quality standards on auto-grade steel imports, mainly from Japan and South Korea, after local carmakers sought an exemption to avoid any disruption to production, two government officials told Reuters.

New rules, due to come into effect on Friday, will require all steel sold in India to be certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards. However, the country's car industry body said it sought more time to complete the lengthy documentation process so that stocks do not run out.

The exemption on auto-grade steel imports would be for six months, the sources said.

The federal steel ministry in December laid out guidelines for the sale of steel in India to maintain quality and cut cheap, sub-standard imports.

Carmakers producing in India like Maruti Suzuki, India's top-selling carmaker, and South Korea's Hyundai import about 1 million tonnes of high-grade steel annually.

The steel ministry officials, who declined to be named before an announcement is made, said the government did not want any break in supply of crucial steel imports that are not produced locally.


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