Export tariff hike: Ficci seeks 3 months for steel makers to clear orders

Industry body FICCI has requested the government to give the domestic steel industry three months to clear their orders.

Responding to the government’s move to impose export duty on some steel items, FICCI Steel Committee vice-chairman VR Sharma said, “I suggest that at least three months should be given to reduce orders and deliver orders received.”

Sharma, managing director (MD) of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and told PTI that there are orders for 2 million tonnes of steel in the pipeline where either letter of credit is established or sale agreement is signed. The supply of such orders at a given rate will be affected by the imposition of duty.

The government on Saturday waived tariffs on imports of some raw materials used by the steel industry, including coking coal and ferronicle, a move that would reduce costs and reduce prices for the domestic industry.

Also, to increase domestic availability, tariffs on iron ore exports were increased to 50 per cent and on some steel intermediaries to 15 per cent, according to a notification.

“We appreciate the efforts of the government … but the sudden imposition of export duty will force the steel mills to stop export booking but what about the orders that have been taken or are still in the pipeline.” It will provide relief to customers who are not guilty within three months, ”he said.

Steel exports from India were minimal in the fiscal year ending March 2022, an industry executive said.

India exported 10 metric tonnes of steel during the year, producing more than 110 metric tonnes, he said, adding that “various countries were looking at India as an opportunity in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.” The three-month exemption will give some relief to players whose orders are in the pipeline, the executive said.

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