Terming duties imposed on steel products a “short-term headwind”, JSW Group CMD Sajjan Jindal said he is hopeful of the government withdrawing the levies once inflation moderates.The duties were imposed last month with the objective of controlling inflation, the industrialist said. Jindal’s statement comes days after he along with other top industry leaders met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her office.
In a tweet on June 16, office of the Finance Minister, without sharing the details of the meeting had said, “Delegation of Indian Steel Association @steel_indian, including Shri @MPNaveenJindal – Chairman JSPL, Shri @sajjanjindal – Chairman JSW, Smt Soma Mondal – Chairman @SAILsteel & other senior members of the industry, calls on Smt @nsitharaman.” “We view the export duties imposed on steel in May 2022 as a short-term headwind, since they have been imposed with the objective of controlling inflation. We continue to engage with the government on this matter and believe that the duties would be withdrawn once inflation moderates,” Jindal said in a statement.Jindal, who also heads the World Steel Association as Chairman, said India is a cost-competitive exporter of steel, and has an opportunity to take on a larger role in the global steel trade.
The government continues to encourage manufacturing-led growth and merchandise exports from India. On May 21, the government had announced waiving of customs duty on the import of some raw materials, including coking coal and ferronickel, used by the steel industry. Also, the duty on exports of iron ore was hiked up to 50 per cent and on a few steel intermediaries to 15 per cent. As per industry figures, steel exports had reached a record high of 18.3 million tonne last fiscal year.