India has been consistently increasing domestic production of steel and is a net exporter in the current financial year, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
He also said the total number of steel plants in the country stood at 977.
During the Question Hour, he said steel is a deregulated sector where market forces and commercial considerations decide construction and location of new steel plants.
He was responding to a query on whether the government proposes to set up new steel plants in Haryana.
According to him, India has become a net exporter of steel in the current year.
"The import of steel has increased marginally in the last three years from 7.23 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 7.83 million tonnes in 2018-19," he said.
Noting that domestic production has consistently increased regardless of such imports, Pradhan said in the current year, the country is a net exporter.
"To counter import of cheap steel, anti-dumping duties have been imposed on various grades of steel which were dumped into the country.
"Import of steel grades which are not manufactured in adequate quantity in the country is essential for supporting manufacturing sector," he noted.
Responding to supplementaries, the minister said there is plan to set up a green field steel plant by RINL in Visakhapatnam with an international player.