The association has drawn attention to the massive and unprecedented reduction of customs duty between January and March 2004 to the tune of 50 per cent by a combination of reduction in peak duty from 25 per cent to 20 per cent and further to 15 per cent on non-alloy and carbon steel and the abolition of special additional duty (SAD).
Any further reduction will hurt the steel industry very badly, the SFAI has said in a presentation to the government recently.
The SFAI members meet the requirements of a wide range of sectors in the manufacturing business including engineering, automobiles, transport, defence production and power transmission.
The SFAI has suggested that the import of seconds and defectives be discouraged. The duty on coking coal with ash content of less than 12 per cent has been reduced to zero, benefiting main steel producers following the blast furnace route.
Further, duty on steel melting scrap which is an important feed stock for the mini steel industry should be reduced to nil as no major steel producing country levies any customs duty on waste scrap, placing the domestic industry at a cost disadvantage, the SFAI has said.