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The increase in the excise duty on cement that followed a hike in railway freight rates, will make the commodity more expensive and impact the domestic housing and construction sector.
“The increase in excise duty specially coming after the recent substantial hike in the rail freight would result in increase in the cost of delivered cement,” said Vinita Singhania, MD, JK Lakshmi cement. Steelmakers welcomed the Budget as the import duty for certain types of steel was increased, a move that would benefit the domestic companies. “It is a pragmatic and growth-oriented budget with concrete steps for containing fiscal deficit at a realistic target,” said C S Verma, chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd.