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Steel industry feels let down by budget

Steel industry feels let down by budget


New Delhi: The steel industry has expressed disappointment over budget 2008-09, saying it did not address their long-standing demand for raising export duty on iron ore to ensure the availability of the mineral for domestic steel manufacturers.

Describing the budget as marginally positive for the steel sector, Tata Steel managing director B Muthuraman said “The FM has referred to the steel industry in India as oligopolistic, but with total steel production in India being less than half of what is produced anywhere in the world, new capacities of global scale would be needed to meet growing demand. This will facilitate setting up of new investments and the government has to step in by providing a launching pad for investments in steel production by removing existing hurdles."

Reduction in the peak excise duty and cutting duties on project import would have a positive impact on steel and other capital-oriented industries. He also added by saying that the slashing of customs duty on steel-melting scrap would not have any impact on Tata Steel.

Reacting to the budget, Indian Steel Alliance president Moosa Raza said that the steel industry was disappointed as the FM did not address their demand for increasing export duty of the mineral, which is a key input for steel making.

“The steel industry is disappointed that its request for taking physical and fiscal measures for conservation of iron ore resources for the benefit of the country has been overlooked. This is essential as the steel industry apprehends that iron ore resources in India may not last for 2030 years if ore exports continue at the current rate." he pointed out.

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