New Delhi: The allocation of about Rs1,00,000 crore to the infrastructure sector in the interim Budget presented in Parliament on Monday is expected to generate additional demand for steel, even as the industry said it was awaiting a sector-specific stimulus dose.
Though elated with the allocation of Rs99,534 crore to the infrastructure projects under a host of schemes, the steel producers said the government should have taken more measures to revive demand for the commodity amid industrial downturn.
“...because of the extra-ordinary situation the industry and economy is currently passing through, the steel industry was expecting a set of measures aimed at reviving demand for steel and controlling dumping of steel products from a host of foreign countries,” Ispat Industries managing director Vinod Mittal said.
Among others, the industry was expecting an increase in import duty on steel products up to 15% to protect the producers against cheap dumping of the commodity from countries like China and Ukraine.
“Changes in indirect taxes like the customs and the excise duties, easing of monetary policy would have given a boost to steel, auto, infrastructure sectors among others,” JSW Group CFO Seshagiri Rao said.
However, he said, “Sentiment wise, the allocation of funds for infrastructure projects is a good move, but its execution may take some time.”