Not content with a direct push to realty and infrastructure sectors, the government has extended sops to downstream sectors like steel and cement as well in Friday’s stimulus package.
In order to help domestic industries of both these sectors, exemptions from counter vailing duties (CVD) have been removed with immediate effect on TMT bars and structurals used in construction. Exemption from CVD along with special CVD have also been removed on cement. These would result in imports getting dearer thus addressing the steel and cement industry's call for help in maintaining prices. The duties were stamped in the middle of 2008 to rein in double-digit inflation.
"This is a very welcome move by the government and under the circumstances it is doing its best. There are recessionary trends globally and we cannot be insulated from it completely but this package will help in countering the downturn as demand will certainly get a booster," said Sajan Jindal, vice chairman, Jindal South West Holdings Ltd.
Sluggish demand had seen a reversal in prices of steel which have gone down by 50 per cent from June. Lower activity in the real estate sector also impacted the cement industry, which was headed for a surplus capacity of 12-15 per cent in 2009-10.
“If real estate sector goes up then demand for cement will also go up and it is very timely as well because traditionally construction activity takes off in the first quarter of a calendar year," said RG Bagla, joint executive president, JK Cement.