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Indian Steel Association lays down a focused 8-point agenda as Budget 2022-23 expectations

Proposed measures to help create a ‘Level Playing Field’ and provide a much-needed push for self-reliance or ‘Atmanirbharta’

1)     Reduction of Basic Customs duty on Coking coal, SS Scrap, Nickel to nil from current 1.0% +1.5% Agriculture cess since the availability of these input raw materials is very low and is necessary for Atmnirbharta for a Core Industry like Steel.

2)      Bringing Petrol, Oil, Lubricants and natural gas under the purview of GST, since no input credit is available on these inputs as currently the old pre-GST tax regime is applicable on these.

      3)   Waiver of Coal Cess/Refund of Input tax credit (ITC)on GST compensation cess of Rs 400/ Tonne of Coal consumed for domestic steel sales.

               Government of India to consider withdrawal /waiver of GST Compensation Cess or Refund of ITC of GST compensation cess on coal used in steel manufacture for domestic steel sales and electric power generation as it will reduce the input cost and the prices, and in turn help downstream industry. 

4)   Connected Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) to Ice gate (Customs portal)-

                SIMS needs to be integrated with real-time import database/ Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE) under Customs, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) which will link the registered details vis- a-vis actual imports and bring in discipline and make the SIMS more meaning full.

  5)       Removal of Lesser Duty Rule (LDR)-

               The lesser duty rule is not binding upon WTO Members and its application is optional. Some large economies like USA, China and Canada etc do not follow the lesser duty rule. Competitive edge of the industry suffers due to high level of dumped and subsidized imports from major surplus steel producing nations.  Due to the LDR being applicable in India, majority of tariff remedial measures imposed remain ineffective and become redundant quickly. The Removal of the Lesser Duty Rule on Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties enables Government to take Suo motto trade remedial measures which can be initiated quickly and does not require cumbersome and time taking system of calculation of Injury margins.

6)      Inclusion of Iron and Steel in RoDTEP scheme-

               Steel Industry requests the Union Government that all iron and steel products under Chapter 72 including ferro alloys) and Articles of Iron and Steel under chapter 73 be included in the RODTEP scheme on priority. This not only will bring the steel industry at par with our global competitors but also to help the country in boosting export competitiveness of the downstream industries using steel as a major input raw material.

7)     Restoration of Antidumping Duties (ADD) and Countervailing Duties (CVD) suspended by the Government –

The temporary and unilateral suspension of anti-dumping duties on imports of the subject products which were imposed after investigations following due process and establishment of dumping and resultant injury to the Domestic Industry in India by a quasi- judicial body like Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). This step of suspension of duties have proved counter-productive for the domestic steel industry.

Steel Industry is cyclical in nature and survival of the industry is important for the country to be Atmanirbhar in availability of steel by domestic players.

The Ministry of Finance needs to review it and consider restoration of the suspended Anti-dumping Duty (ADD and Counter Vailing Duty (CVD) on mentioned products forthwith and no extension beyond January 31, 2022 should be considered.

8)         Notifying Antidumping duties on Hot Rolled Steel, Cold Rolled Steel, Color Coated Steel and Wire Rods recommended by DGTR after sunset review investigation following due process

We would like to take this opportunity to request Ministry of Finance to notify to the continuation of the anti-dumping duties so that the steel industry does not suffer due to likelihood of injury due to surge in imports at predatory prices.

Sharing his perspective, Mr. Dilip Oommen, President of Indian Steel Association said- “As a vital contributor to the economy, Steel Industry looks forward to the Union Budget 2022-23 for more fund allocation and the front loading for Government Infrastructure projects that will augment the metal’s demand, apart from zero import duty on input raw materials for a level playing field. These measures are imperative to promote domestic production that will give a much-needed push for self-reliance or ‘Atmanirbharta’, besides providing an edge against foreign steel manufacturers. There is also an immediate requirement of a policy on green economy and green financing for future steel capacity building while ensuring a level playing field.”

“ISA’s submission to the government ahead of the Union Budget has covered a wide spectrum of concerns of the Indian steel players. Our memorandum highlights the issues that need to be resolved for the steel sector to grow from the current installed capacity of 144 million tonnes to 300 million tonnes, as laid down by the National Steel Policy unveiled in 2017. Reduction and rationalisation of certain duties along with certain policy measures will help create a Level Playing field in the Global arena specially in a context where 2/3rd of imports from Countries having FTA with India arrive at zero basic customs duty, who do not incur similar costs. We humbly request the finance ministry to consider our memorandum and hope that the government intervenes with the required measures.” said Mr. Alok Sahay, Secretary General, Indian Steel Association.


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