New Delhi, Oct 7 (UNI) An industry chamber today urged the government to remove export duty on steel and impose five per cent levy on its imports to ensure fair play for domestic steel makers.
This has become imperative as global slowdown has started adversely impacting steel industry by disturbing their expansion plans and threatening their viability, Assocham said.
The government should also reimpose 14 per cent countervailing duty on all imports of bars and structurals, the chamber said.
Assocham also sought restoration of export incentives under duty entitlement passbook scheme (DEPB) for domestic steel producers to make exports viable.
In a representation to the government, Assocham president Sajjan Jinda attributed 26 per cent increase in steel imports and 32 per cent decrease in steel exports in April-July period to policy initiatives taken by the government between March to June.
He said to remove this imbalance government should exempt steel from export levies, levy import duty and reimpose countervailing duty on some steel products to save domestic manufacturers.
Earlier this year, the government had taken a series of measures to discourage exports to increase domestic availability of steel with a view to containing inflation. This, Assocham said, led to rise in imports and decline in exports.
But it said now domestic steel demand has dipped drastically and the price of the commodity has fallen by 15 to 40 per cent in various categories.
Cheaper imports from China, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States and Thailand have worsened the situation of domestic steel makers, the chamber said.
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