The government on Tuesday announced the reintroduction of a five per cent import duty on certain categories of steel products and imposed a 20 per cent import duty on crude soyabean oil. Both steps will help domestic producers face international competition.
Customs duty of five per cent will now be imposed on pig iron, semi-finished products, flat products and long products. To simplify the refund of service tax on eligible export schemes, the time limit for filing refund claims has been extended from 60 days to six months.
The decision to re-impose the duty, which was withdrawn in April as an inflation-management exercise, has been done “in the wake of the recent fall in the international prices of commodities and with a view to safeguarding the interests of domestic producers,” the government said in a statement.
The industry welcomed the move, but said it was expecting an even higher duty to prevent flooding of Indian market by cheaper steel imports from countries such as China and Ukraine.
“In view of the present market conditions, the industry was expecting a higher import tariff of 20 per cent,” Ispat Industries Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Vinod Mittal said.