India sets up committee to examine steel import duty hike proposal amid opposing stances of ministries

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 13:55:18 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

To settle difference of opinions between India’s Ministries of Steel and Commerce on hiking duties on steel imports, the Ministry of Commerce has set up a committee to examine various pricing issues, a senior Indian government official said on Wednesday, May 29.

The official said that the committee will examine details of pricing of domestic steel including export pricing of large local steel mills and report back to the Ministry of Commerce for the government to take a unanimous stand on steel import duties.

According to the official, the Ministries of Steel and Commerce have taken diametrically opposite stands on whether to increase steel import duties.

The Ministry of Steel in intergovernmental deliberations has backed increasing steel import duties currently in range of 10 percent to 12.5 percent to a flat rate of 20 percent. However, the Ministry of Commerce has opposed such a move, arguing that the hike in duties would negatively impact engineering and automotive components sectors as a time when both these sectors are facing a domestic slowdown and negative growth in exports.

The proposed committee is also expected to look into the complaints made by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) to the government alleging that domestic steel producers are exporting steel products at offers lower than domestic prices, thereby impacting the global competiveness of engineering product exporters, the official added.


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