Listing a series of duty hikes on certain categories of steel imports, the Central government on Monday said it does not intend to curb steel imports.

Acknowledging that steel imports have gone up significantly in the last few years, the government said its role is limited to that of a facilitator since steel is a deregulated sector.

The government's position was made clear when the Narendra Singh Tomar, minister of steel and mines laid a statement in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Steel imports during the period April to October 2015 stood at 7,199.15 thousand tonnes, up from 5,704.45 thousand tonnes in 2013-14 and 10,016.76 tonnes in the last financial year.

China continues to be the lead exporter of steel to India, followed by Korea and Japan.

In June this year, the BJP-led NDA government had imposed an anti-dumping duty for five years on imports of certain categories of hot-rolled flat stainless steel products from China, Korea and Malaysia.

This was followed by 20% provisional safeguard duty on hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy steel, for a 200-day period.