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Removal of export duty will bring new era of growth for domestic steel industry: Scindia

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Removal of export duty on steel products will lead to a new era of growth for the domestic industry (steel) that now has gained footprint internationally, Union Minister for Steel, Jyotiraditya Scindia, said on Monday.

Beginning November 19, India removed the export duty on steel, steel products while reducing export duty on iron ore. The duty had been imposed in May 22 to curtail inflation.

Speaking at the 3 rd Indian Steel Association (ISA) conclave , the Minister said, Indian mills werebuilt up dedicated clients across these overseas markets. “It has taken if not months then years for our industry (steel) to be able to to firmly plant its footprint internationally….. The duty (on steel exports) has been removed completely from Friday evening enabling a new era for the steel industry to grow,” he said.

According to him, Indian steel mills will once again “plant their footprint” on a global scale and the decision to remove export duty was taken after consultation with all necessary stakeholders.

“We had about three to four iterations between our group and another two to three with secondary steel group trying to understand the concerns of the downstream industry….. came up with judicious reasoned argument with which I approached both the Group of Ministers and the Finance ministry. I (had) promised the industry that we will take clear cut opinion certainly by November,” he said adding that: “I realise it’s a very difficult time with regard to to still demand internationally it is Indian domestic demand that today’s powering our steel industry,” he said,

Facilitating local industry

It was the Centre’s job to “provide a fillip” to the domestic mills. Scindia said, adding that steel industry in being driven “tremendously by domestic demand”. The Centre’s push towards infrastructure was leading to a strong consumption led demand. The ramp up in domestic steel manufacturing has also seen India save ₹22,400 crore worth of imports.

A ministry report said, India’s steel demand has seen a 11 per cent rise in October. On the other hand, global demand remains volatile.

Coking coal

Scindia said, alternative sources of coking coal – a key raw material for steel making that India mostly imports – are being looked at; while in case of iron-ore the country’s production capacity stood at 253 mt (of which 53 mt is low-grade offering).

According to Sajjan Jindal, the export duty removal is a “welcome step”. “This will give support to the industry to export products to customers that we developed. Last year we (India) exported 20 mt and we need to continue with that,” he said.

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Published on November 21, 2022

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