Retain Peak Customs Duty, Urges SFAI

New Delhi, June 29 | Updated: Jul 1 2004, 04:43am hrs
The Steel Furnace Association of India (SFAI), an association representing the mini steel industry manufacturing various grades of steel ranging from construction steel to stainless steel and alloy and special steels, has urged that the peak customs duty on steel should be kept at the present level of 20 per cent and 15 per cent on non-alloy and carbon steel, at least for two years more.

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.