Member Parliament , Ravneet Singh Bittu, batted for the small and medium steel industries of Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh in the Lok Sabha on Monday. He not only urged the government to reduce the import duty on scrap to zero as was the case earlier but also demanded the lowering of excise duty from 12.36% to 6% to help the local industry.
In a statement issued on Monday, Ravneet said, there are many clusters of steel producers in our country which are facing difficulties. One such cluster of steel producers is located around Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab. These industries use scrap as raw material and have been serving the country for the last four decades by catering to the requirements of our automobile, engineering and housing sectors. "These small and medium industries have been providing employment to lakhs of people. But today 50% of these industries have closed down and the remaining are on the verge of closure which would render lakhs of workers jobless besides loss of investments worth several thousand million rupees," said Bittu.
He added that the finance minister assured him that the government will consider the proposal and certainly take necessary steps to help protect the steel industries of Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh.
Demanding that raw material should be made easily available to the domestic producers of Steel, Ravneet also demanded for the provision for necessary clearances for supply of iron-ore and coal to the domestic industry so that they are able to produce sufficient steel for the needs of the country and are able to export as well.