Industry calls for more customs duty on steel

Monday, 29 June 2009, 02:22 Hrs
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New Delhi: A leading industry body has called for increasing customs duty on steel from 5 percent to 10 percent as consumption of local steel by domestic users was falling.

According to the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), imported steel accounted for over 11 percent share of consumption, as compared to 6 percent a few years ago.

"India's imports of steel and allied products have almost doubled in the last four years. India imported 4.3 million tonnes of steel and allied products in 2005-06 which has gone up to 10 million tonnes in 2008-09," a Ficci statement said.

"China has announced tax incentives of up to 9 percent on export of steel products. This move has concerned the Indian steel industry, as China is the largest exporter of steel to India," it added.

Given the situation, the chamber said safeguard and anti-dumping duties should be imposed immediately and depreciation rate for the steel industry be increased from the current 15 percent to 25 percent.

Ficci also asked for abolishing customs duty on raw materials not available indigenously.

India is the third largest steel producer after China and Japan, with its share in the global production going up from around 4 percent in 2008 to 8 percent in the first five months of this year.

The chamber said India could overtake Japan if appropriate fiscal incentives were provided to the sector.
Source: IANS
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