Steel Ministry seeks import duty reduction
Ahead of the Union Budget 2017-18, the Steel Ministry has sought reduction in import duty on both coking coal and nickel — vital components of steel making — a move that may revive the sector, a top official said.
In an interview to PTI, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said the dependence on imports is particularly heavy on nickel, coking coal and gas.
“What we are discussing is whether there is need to take a re-look at their custom and import duties. This is still under discussions. Let’s see how it moves out during the Budget,” the Secretary said.
While the import duty on nickel is five percent, in the case of coking coal, it is 2.5 percent now.
Sharma also said that in the future, the requirement of gas will increase in the manufacturing of pellets and added, “Like what the Prime Minister has said, tomorrow’s economy is going to be gas-based.”
“There are two ways of tackling imports. One is to replace the imports with a better alternative fuel. So, we are in discussions with Coal Ministry to invest in washeries and the Coal Ministry has agreed to invest in them so the coking coal imports will come down by nearly 30 percent which is a very good sign for the coming years,” she said.