NEW DELHI :
Finance ministry on Saturday notified export duty on 11 iron and steel intermediates and lowered import duty on three key raw materials for steel production and three inputs for making plastic items, showed an official order. The duty revision is effective from Sunday.
To reduce the cost of domestic production of steel products, import duty on coking coal and anthracite (high energy coal) has been reduced from 2.5% to zero while the same on coke and semi-coke has been brought down from 5% to zero. The import duty on ferronickel, an alloy containing iron and nickel, has been lowered from 2.5% to zero.
To increase local availability of iron ore and a few steel intermediates, export duty has been raised on one item and imposed on 10 other items afresh. In the case of iron ore and concentrates, the duty has been raised to 50% on all categories, up from 30% that is now applicable on lumps above 58% iron content. In the case of iron ore pellets, which currently does not attract export duty, a 45% duty has been imposed. In the case of nine other classes of iron ore and steel intermediates a 15% export duty has been imposed. This includes Flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel.
To lower the cost of domestic production of plastic products, import duty on naphtha, a hydrocarbon which goes into production of a host of petrochemicals with commercial and industrial application has been lowered from 2.5% to 1%. The import duty on propylene oxide, used in making items like foams in furniture, has been halved to 2.5%. The import duty on polymers of venyl chloride has been lowered from 10% to 7.5%, showed the order.
The reduction on central excise duty of ₹8 a litre on petrol and ₹6 a litre on diesel announced on Saturday are also effective from Sunday, showed a separate order.
News agency ANI reported quoting Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal that Kerala government has announced a cut in tax on petrol and diesel by ₹2.41 a litre and ₹1.36 a litre respectively.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a tweet that the duty revision on iron and steel and their raw materials was meant to tame prices.
“We are calibrating customs duty on raw materials and intermediaries for iron and steel to reduce their prices,” the minister said in a series of tweets.
Separately, the government is also taking steps to improve the availability of cement. This is being done through better logistics to reduce the cost of cement.
On Friday, Sitharaman had expressed concern at the possible impact the rising cost of construction inputs can have on infrastructure creation at a time the government is pursuing an infrastructure-investment led economic recovery.
“Today, the world is passing through difficult times. Even as the world is recovering from Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict has brought in supply chain problems and shortages of various goods. This is resulting in inflation and economic distress in a lot of countries,” the minister said.