New Delhi: The Steel Ministry has invited suggestions from industry bodies including Ficci, CII and Assocham on duty structures for submitting them to the Finance Ministry for the 2013-14 Budget.
"Ministry of Steel has initiated exercise for preparing the proposal for the Union Budget 2013-14. In this connection, it is requested that your proposals/ suggestions for making changes in the existing duty structure...," the Steel Ministry has recently written to 19 associations.
As on September 3, tinplates and defective cold-rolled coils attract the highest import duty at 10 percent. A clutch of other items including Hot-Rolled sheets, coils and CR coils and sheets attract 7.5 percent duty. Import duty on iron ore stands at 2.5 percent.
The Steel Ministry has asked industry to send views on changes in the procedural rules pertaining to direct/indirect taxation by October 19 and strictly adhere to the time-line so that the revenue department gets sufficient time to consider the proposal before finalising the Budget.
India's steel imports grew by 40 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, keeping domestic production growth at low levels.
Growth in steel imports was driven largely by the fact that the landed cost of imported steel was still cheaper than domestic steel despite increased import duty on hot rolled coils, according to a recent ICRA report.
"While proposing any change in the duty structure the detailed financial implication of such a change may kindly be worked out...And also the current level of import and demand in the domestic industry," the Steel Ministry's letter said.