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Budget 2020: ISSDA seeks nil duty on import of key raw materials

ISSDA also urged the government for simultaneous imposition of 12.5% custom duty on stainless steel flat product imports in order to bring it at par with carbon steel. The association has also sought abolition of 7.5% import duty on graphite electrodes, another major raw material for stainless steel manufacturing, an official statement said.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2020, 05.02 PM IST
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An apex body of the stainless steel industry, ISSDA also suggested that a minimum export duty of 20% should be imposed on graphite electrodes, ensuring priority and availability for domestic customers.
KOLKATA: Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) has sought nil duty on import of key raw materials, including ferro-nickel and stainless steel scrap as part of its Budget 2020 recommendations to the union finance minister. Ferro nickel and stainless steel scrap, key raw materials for the industry are not available in the country and must necessarily be imported.

ISSDA also urged the government for simultaneous imposition of 12.5% custom duty on stainless steel flat product imports in order to bring it at par with carbon steel. The association has also sought abolition of 7.5% import duty on graphite electrodes, another major raw material for stainless steel manufacturing, an official statement said. An apex body of the stainless steel industry, ISSDA also suggested that a minimum export duty of 20% should be imposed on graphite electrodes, ensuring priority and availability for domestic customers.

“These measures are expected to boost domestic stainless steel production and protect Indian manufacturers who are currently facing the dual challenge of excessive dumping by other major stainless steel producing countries like Indonesia, China, and other Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries, and non-availability of key raw materials in the country,” the statement added.

Asserting the industry demands, ISSDA president, K KPahuja, said:“ The Indian stainless steel industry has reached an inflection point where support from the government, for availability of raw materials at zero duty, will help preserve its competitiveness.” At a time when the government is assessing its trade relations with other countries and trade blocks, it is also necessary to boost domestic manufacturing by reducing high input costs, he added.

The government took a significant decision by withdrawing from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) treaty. However, rampant imports from FTA countries continue to harm the domestic stainless steel industry. The government must proactively review the existing FTAs to ensure a level-playing field for the Indian producers, the statement said. Despite global trade challenges, India continues to be the second largest producer and consumer of stainless steel. The demand for stainless steel in India is growing at a compound annual growth rateof around 8-9% across an array of applications. However, Indian per capita consumption of stainless steel continues to remain low at 2.5 kg against the world average of 6 kg. Capacity utilization of the Indian stainlesssteel manufacturers has remained stagnant at 60-70% with cheap imports gaining a significant market share, according to ISSDA.


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