FICCI demands duty sops for steel exports

FICCI demands duty sops for steel exports

"In order to bridge the trade gap, the government needs to give further incentives to steel exports through measures like Focus Market Scheme, which provides 3 per cent duty free credit scrips for exports to select markets," it said.

India that used to be a net exporter of finished steel till 2006-07 has become net importer since 2007-08. In 2009-10 the deficit reached 4.06 million tonnes, about three times over the previous year, it said.

Steel exports in April-July 2010-11 declined by 11 per cent year-on-year, while imports went up by over 66 per cent.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, on Monday, is likely to announce fiscal benefits to exporters in the supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-2014, amid fears of demand slowdown in India's traditional markets.

Steel exporters get duty benefit of three to eight per cent under DEPB scheme, which aims at neutralising the incidence of duty on the inputs used in products for exports.

Ficci said that the rising share of steel imports in India's domestic consumption and the widening trade deficit in steel has become a cause of serious concern for domestic industry.

It further said the share of domestic producers in the total consumption of steel in the country has declined over the years. While share of imports has increased from 6.13 per cent in 2004-05 to 12.9 per cent in 2009-10.

Ficci said the government should set up a taskforce under Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh to look into the reasons for inadequate growth of domestic steel production vis-à-vis consumption in the country.

It also said that in view of the rising share of imports in domestic market, the government needs to be alert to unfair practices of dumping and subsidised imports.

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