Budget 2021 doubles MSME outlay to Rs 15,700 cr; cuts customs duty on steel products to help small units

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Updated: Feb 01, 2021 7:47 PM

Union Budget 2021 India: “We are reducing Customs duty uniformly to 7.5 per cent on semis, flat, and long products of non-alloy, alloy, and stainless steels. To provide relief to metal recyclers, mostly MSMEs, I am exempting duty on steel scrap for a period up to 31st March 2022," said Nirmala Sitharaman.

Budget 2021-22, Union Budget 2021The budget allocated Rs 15,700 crores to the MSME sector.

Indian Union Budget 2021-22: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday allocated Rs 15,700 crore in the 2021-22 Union Budget to the MSME sector – more than 2X from Rs 7,572 crore in the 2020 budget. “We have taken a number of steps to support the MSME sector. In this budget, I have provided Rs 15,700 crores to this sector, more than double of this year’s BE,” Sitharaman said. The minister also announced reducing customs duty on multiple steel products to help MSMEs that have been hit significantly by a sharp increase in iron and steel prices. “We are reducing Customs duty uniformly to 7.5 per cent on semis, flat, and long products of non-alloy, alloy, and stainless steels. To provide relief to metal recyclers, mostly MSMEs, I am exempting duty on steel scrap for a period up to 31st March 2022,” the minister added. 

Steel prices continued to scale north with the rate touching Rs 58,000 per tonne (ex-Mumbai) as an all-time high for benchmark hot-rolled coil product. According to a report by brokerage firm Edelweiss on January 6 this year, domestic hot-rolled coil further increased by Rs 2,750 per tonne in comparison to the preceding week as major producers calibrated their notified prices with wholesale ones. Hence, steel dealers had increased prices to preserve their margins, it noted. “Keeping in mind the increase in the market prices of iron and steel, the reduction of customs duty by 5 per cent on such items is a step in the right direction and Finance Minister should be complimented for taking a very timely decision,” Sanjay Bhatia, MD, Hindustan Tin Works, and Past President, FICCI CMSME told Financial Express Online.

Also read: Budget 2021: 2 lakh firms to benefit from revision in definition of small companies, says FM Sitharaman

The minister also announced revoking anti-dumping duty (ADD) and countervailing duty (CVD) on certain steel products. Moreover, in order to offer relief to copper recyclers, Sitharaman also reduced duty on copper scrap from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent. Apart from this, in order to benefit MSMEs, Sitharaman said that the government is increasing duty from 10 per cent to 15 per cent on steel screws and plastic builder wares. “On prawn feed we increase it from 5 per cent to 15 per cent. We are rationalizing exemption on import of duty-free items as an incentive to exporters of garments, leather, and handicraft items. Almost all these items are made domestically by our MSMEs. We are withdrawing exemption on imports of certain kind of leathers as they are domestically produced in good quantity and quality, mostly by MSMEs.” “The industry has seen a hike in the products comprising metal constituents but this will now, somehow help the manufacturers to see stability in the pricing of the products and is a matter of relief for the people,” said Vinay Jain, Founder, and CEO, Grafdoer. 

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