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Removal sought on galvanised steel

The ministry of steel recommends removal of 10 pc export duty on flat products that is imposed by the ministry of finance last month, to the commitee of secretaries, reports Sumant Banerji.

business Updated: May 28, 2008 21:26 IST
Sumant Banerji

The ministry of steel has recommended removal of 10 per cent export duty on flat products that was imposed by the ministry of finance last month, to the commitee of secretaries (COS). The ministry has however not sought a rollback of the 15 per cent duty export duty on long products. COS will also take up the proposal of levying 15 per cent ad valorem duty on iron ore exports that has been a long standing demand of the steel industry.

“We have recommended a roll back of duty on flat products and galvanised steel but have not made any suggestion on long products which attract the maximum 15 per cent duty. It is now up to the COS to decide on the issue and it also create a mechansim to ensure that exports do not go up after the duty is removed," a senior steel ministry official told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

The ministry had already asked for a removal of export duty on galvanised steel the input of which is procured through import of hot rolled coils under advanced license scheme. Under the scheme duty free imports are allowed into the country.

The ministry of finance had imposed an export duty of 15 per cent for primary steel and HR coil, 10 per cent on cold rolled coils, sheets, pipes and tubes and 5 per cent on galvanised steel, in a bid to rein in runaway prices and increase domestic availability of steel. Government had also withdrawn DEPB benefits on various categories of steel on March 27.

It is however learnt that finance ministry is not in favour of removal of the export duties citing revenue considerations. The ministry reportedly is also not impressed by steel industry's promise of self restraint in view of a more than 50 per cent surge in imports last fiscal even as exports dipped by only 6 per cent.

COS will also decide on whether or not to impose any export duty on iron ore. Steel industry had been demanding a 15 per cent ad valorem export duty on iron ore and had made a representation to that effect to the PMO on May 7.