Industry Seeks Higher Import Duty on Certain Steel Materials
Indian Steel Association's budget recommended the government to discourage imports of non-essential steel items that 'it produces and have the capacity to meet the entire domestic requirement'.
File photo of Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot, South Wales. (REUTERS)
New Delhi: India's steel industry has sought an increase in basic customs duty for certain steel materials from the government in the upcoming full-budget 2019-20.
According to Indian Steel Association's budget recommendations made to the government, India should discourage imports of non-essential steel items such as 'hot rolled items and colour coated steel' that "it produces and have the capacity to meet the entire domestic requirement".
The association represents all the major public and private sector steel enterprises of India.
"Ensuing trade discord between USA and China, protectionist measures by EU, Canada, Turkey, among others, and global steel excess capacity is impacting the steel market," the memorandum of recommendations said.
"The resultant increase in non-essential steel imports into India and consequently an increase in the country's CAD is a cause for serious concern."
Besides, the association has sought reduction in import duty on raw materials to nil rate and rectification of inverted duty structure.
"In line with government's 'Make in India' policy, all input raw materials, which India imports (irrespective of the quantity) for promoting value addition within the country, should attract nil import duty," the memorandum said.
It has asked the government to reduce customs duty on Pet Coke from 2.5 per cent to nil, similarly, it has been demanded that customs duty on anthracite coal be reduced from 2.5 per cent to nil.
"Import duties on other raw materials used in steel making (iron ore, zinc, paint, oils and lubricants, refractory etc.) be removed," the memorandum said.
Apart from import duties, the association has called for rationalisation of GST and inclusion of petroleum products, natural gas and electricity under its ambit to allow input tax credit.
Subsume all mining related taxes, royalties, cess etc into GST so that input tax credit can be availed by producers, the association recommended.
The government will present the Budget for 2019-20 on July 5.
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