The government has withdrawn Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) from steel and cement to boost the domestic supply, Mr Nath said. ''There is great demand in the construction sector. We need to source the supply of steel and cement. The governemnt has brought down the duty on imported steel to zero,'' he said. The government is also considering to impose complete ban on non-basmati rice exports, Mr Nath said.
Yesterday, the minimum export price (MEP) on non-basmati rice was increased by 350 dollars to 1,000 dollars per tonne and on basmati rice from 900 dollars to 1,100 dollars a tonne. The headline inflation rate for the week ended March 15 surged to a 59-week high at 6.68 per cent, compared to its previous week's level of 5.92 per cent.