India’s metals industry has called for a reduction in import duties on key raw materials ahead of Indian government’s financial budget for 2020 on Feb 1.
Steel ministry has presented steelmakers’ wishlist to the government, which calls for zero duty on raw material imports, including coking coke, pet coke, limestone, dolomite and zinc. Of these, met coke and zinc attract a duty of 5pc, while for the rest, import duty is 2.5pc. Anthracite coal consumed in the ferroalloys industry also plays a key role in steel manufacturing. Import duty on anthracite coal is 2.5pc. Steelmakers have requested that reductants used in the sector should be available to the Indian producers at a globally competitive price to reduce their cost of production. Stainless steelmakers are demanding zero import duty on ferro-nickel and stainless steel scrap.
Aluminium producers in India are demanding a raise of duties on semi-finished and finished aluminium products imported into the country. These imported products are taking market share away from domestic primary producers. India’s mines ministry has proposed an increase in customs duty levied on aluminium bars, foil, plates, rods and wire. The ministry has also called for reduction in customs duty on raw materials used in the aluminium production, including aluminium fluoride, caustic soda, carbon anodes and calcined pet coke.
Mines ministry also wants bauxite imports categorized on the basis of grades and a lower duty on low-grade bauxite. The ministry has also requested for a cut in rail freight for bauxite and alumina.