Indian steel mills seek lower import duties on inputs in national budget

Monday, 04 January 2021 12:00:58 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

Indian domestic steel producers represented by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) have sought cuts in import duties on steelmaking inputs in the forthcoming national budget scheduled to be placed before India’s parliament next month, according to a memorandum submitted by the Confederation to the Ministry of Finance.

In the memorandum, CII has sought a reduction in import duties on anthracite coal, metallurgical coke, coking coal and graphite electrodes.

CII said that the basic customs import duty on anthracite coal is 2.5 percent and that the domestic availability is not of "good quality" and is declining in the country, and that the steel industry may have to become totally dependent on imports of anthracite coal on a regular basis and has sought scrapping of the rate.

For metallurgical coke, CII has suggested cutting the import duty to 2.5 percent, from five percent at present.

"Low ash metallurgical coke, HS Code 2704, is a key raw material in steel (making), accounting for almost 46 percent of the total raw material cost. Reduction in duty will help the domestic steel industry to be cost-competitive," the CII memorandum said.

In its recommendations, CII has also suggested removing the import duty on coking coal to nil from 2.5 percent at present.

As regards graphite electrodes, the industry body said that Indian steel producers are bound to import electrodes as 60 percent of domestic electrode production is being exported creating a shortage in the domestic market, and has sought the reduction of the import duty to nil from 7.5 percent at present.

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