Government is working on measures to streamline filing and initiating anti-dumping duty, a move that will benefit the over $100 billion domestic steel sector, which is facing an onslaught of cheap imports.

Ministries of Steel and Commerce are working to make it easier to file anti-dumping duty petition and quicken the process for investigation and awarding duty, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma told reporters at Minerals, Metals, Metallurgy and Materials International exhibition and conference here.

"We are working on two accounts. Commerce and Finance Ministries have been very supportive and for the first time we have been able to bring such a large chunk under anti-dumping duties. Having said that, it is very important to do the homework well and bring as many as under anti-dumping duty.

"Not only that, we are also in discussions with Commerce Ministry to work out on the procedure for invoking anti-dumping duty. It is a very complex procedure. So what the Steel Minister has said is that in this two months time the challenge is to do this homework and get relief," she said.

On an average, an anti-dumping duty procedure from filing petition to awarding of duty takes between 3-6 months, while in some Western countries such as the US and the European Union, it takes around two to two-and-a-half months.

The government is analysing the models across the globe and will see which models are the fastest to get relief and better, Sharma added.

On the timeframe, the Secretary said: "We have to do this in two months. That’s our internal target."

Speaking at the conference on safeguard measures for the steel industry, she said the better way to go about is through anti-dumping duty and safeguard duty. Minimum import price (MIP) is a short term measure, it is like an SOS.

The global conference is organised by Indian Institute of Metals in association with ITE Group, PLC, every two years.

Last week, the government extended the MIP on steel products by two months, but pruned the list from 173 products to 66. It said the rest of the products will be brought under anti-dumping duty, which is a better protection mechanism.

While inaugurating the conference, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh said government is taking measures to support the industry against cheap imports, adding that the sector should also concentrate on optimum utilisation of costs, minerals and processing to become more competitive.

"We need to now concentrate on R&D as it is a crucial part for us to prepare for the competition ahead. Not just that it will also help us produce better products at competitive costs," he added.

Singh said the industry will grow, going ahead, as the government has put its efforts on infrastructure development.

Encouraging industry to increase thrust on producing steel through recycling, Sharma said: "We need to also look at recycling to save costs. If 90 MT steel is produced through recycling, it will help save as much as Rs 1 lakh crore.