Steel Cos Seek Continuation Of Protection Against Imports

New Delhi, May 27 | Updated: May 28 2004, 05:30am hrs
The domestic steel industry is seeking a continuation of duty protection in case of prime, seconds/defectives, iron and steel items, lowering of import duty in case raw materials are not available locally, and a revision in railway freight tariff for steel, iron ore/limestone and coal. The industry is also looking at exclusion of integrated steel plants from the purview of excise duty on freight and distribution.

These recommendations are part of a detailed note prepared by the steel industry ahead of the railway and Union Budgets. Industry representatives were expected to meet the new finance minister, P Chidambaram, in the second week of June and make a detailed presentation under the aegis of Indian Steel Alliance (ISA), said a source.

The foremost issue which is haunting the industry is the protection from imports. The industry is of the view that major steel producing countries have an effective mechanism to safeguard their domestic industry. The protection level for Indian industry is lower than that prevalent in developed markets. The import duty in India is around 25 per cent, the US has a protection level of 38-140 per cent, Europe 26 per cent, Canada 22-169 per cent, Indonesia 22-45 per cent and Thailand 70 per cent.