In the likely absence of big ticket infrastructure announcements in the forthcoming interim budget, the steel sector is pinning its hopes on the government to help with rising raw material costs by reducing or removing import duties on key items.
Industry body, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) said, “Availability of vital inputs, such as anthracite coal, coking coal, coke, pet coke, limestone and dolomite, in good quality is declining and the industry has to depend on their imports on a regular basis.”
Anthracite coal, coking coal and pet coke currently attract an import duty of 2.5 percent, and the industry will be hoping that this import duty is removed when the interim union finance minister Piyush Goyal presents the pre-election budget later this week.
Steel companies have also made representations to the union steel ministry to consider imposing a safeguard import duty on steel products from other free-trade agreement (FTA) countries like the US and European Union have done last year.
Companies have also said that an export duty should be imposed on key raw materials needed for steel production, like graphite electrodes and iron ore.