New Delhi : The Steel Ministry has moved a proposal to allow Paradip port in Odisha as the single-point entry for all steel imports in the country in a bid to check in-bound shipments of sub-standard products. The move is also dictated by the Ministry’s plan to de-congest the Jawaharlal National Port Trust (JNPT), Mumbai, which mainly handles steel imports, a source told PTI.

A senior government official said the ministry had sent the proposal to the Commerce Ministry earlier this month.

The Paradip port, experts said, is “very accessible” from industrial areas in Raipur, Durgapur and the like where many steel and iron-ore producing and processing units are located.  As for JNPT, it has been handling huge quantities of steel products to the extent of over 2 million tonnes annually, besides other consignments, leading to delays and higher logistic costs.    Some feel that Paradip with an annual cargo-handling capacity of 108.50 million tonnes and an evacuation capacity of more than 25 rakes in a day, which is likely to go up with the setting up of more rail lines, can be an ideal location.

But analysts argue that it can lead to higher logistic costs and coordination issues for units located in Maharashtra and those in the north and West. Many units, including secondary producers, in western and northern India import raw material and semi-finished products, which are then processed into finished items. Shifting the port of entry will lead to higher costs for them, which will impact their top line and bottom line, he added.

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