Mines & Steel Ministry seeks import duty hike on finished products

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The Mines and Steel Ministry has sought import duty hike on finished steel products to 10 per cent, besides complete withdrawal of the levy on imports of steel-making inputs such as iron ore and coking coal in the coming Budget, said the media report.

In a communique to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, however, did not pitch for slashing export duty on iron ore in order to ensure long-term raw material security for the domestic firms.

Sources said these Budget proposals were sent to the Finance Ministry towards the end of last month. Tomar has also clarified some issues regarding the Budget proposals in a meeting with Jaitley earlier this week.

The import duty hike to 10 per cent on finished steel products which now ranges between 5 per cent and 7.5 per cent and the complete withdrawal of import duty on inward shipments of raw materials would provide a huge relief to the domestic steel makers.

Domestic steel makers are fearing further squeeze in the margins in a stubbornly subdued domestic market with the rise in imports and decline in exports. The situation arises mainly out of higher input costs.

However, with tepid growth in domestic consumption, they are not in a position to raise prices. While imports grew by 58 per cent during the April-December period of current fiscal, exports fell by 6.6 per cent. Domestic consumption grew thinly by 1.4 per cent.

Story first published: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 23:00 [IST]
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