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Power gear imports set for uniform duty

Duty benefits available for the import of plant equipment for mega and ultra-mega power projects would be withdrawn by August 31, 2010.

business Updated: Aug 10, 2010 21:28 IST
HT Correspondent

Duty benefits available for the import of plant equipment for mega and ultra-mega power projects would be withdrawn by August 31, 2010.

The power ministry has requested the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary, K.M. Chandrasekhar to fix the cut-off date of August 31, 2010 for application of 5 per cent customs duty, a 10 per cent counterveiling duty (equal to excise duty on domestic industry) and a 4 per cent special additional duty (SAD) on power projects.

The CoS had earlier proposed July 31 as the cut-off date. At present, mega and ultra-mega power projects enjoy duty benefits on imported equipment.

“Those projects, which have not been awarded to developers or for which main plant equipment has not been ordered will attract the new uniform duty from August 31, 2010,” said a senior power ministry official.

The ministry will finalise the list of mega projects before the cut-off date of August 31, to be exempted from tariff measures.

“The modalities in this regard are being worked out in consultation with the revenue department and the Central Electricity Authority,” he added.

This will be followed by a note for the Cabinet to amend the mega power policy in line with the decisions to fix a cut off date and impose a uniform duty structure for import of plant equipment for all projects.

The move will help domestic as well as foreign companies planning to set up manufacturing facilities in India.

This would also check the ever-increasing import of cheaper power equipment, especially from China.