Govt may use duty hike to save factory output from slowdown

  • Timsy Jaipuria, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 08, 2015 00:24 IST

In a bid to boost manufacturing output, the government is considering a host of indirect fiscal measures which might pull the industry from its existing slowdown.

According to official sources, talks are on between the finance ministry, the commerce ministry and other stakeholders to come out with ways and means in which the domestic industry can pick up pace in manufacturing and compete against cheaper imports.

Top on the list of these sectors is iron and steel followed by mining and then power and natural gas.

Currently, these sectors are facing a tough time in terms of production levels. Indirect fiscal measures would mean that government may revise duties and taxes for these sectors.

Source said that a three-pronged strategy which includes spurring the manufacturing sector, contributing Make in India campaign and pull out specific industries from slowing businesses is being considered.

“For example, for iron and steel the government is considering revision of anti-dumping duties and raising import duty on steel up to 15% for different grades as domestic manufacturers have been losing market share to cheaper steel coming from China, Japan and Korea,” the source said.

Cheap steel imports have risen 72% in 2014-15 to 9.3 million tonnes.

Already, the Reserve Bank of India in its recent financial stability report said, “As on date, five out of the top 10 private sector steel-producing companies are under severe stress on account of delayed implementation of their projects due to land acquisition and environmental clearances among other factors.”

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