The government, on Monday, imposed a 5 per cent export duty on iron pellets, a critical raw material for the steel industry, and raised the excise duty on pan masala, gutkha and chewing tobacco.

“Considering the domestic requirement of iron ore pellets, the government has decided to impose an export duty of 5 per cent on iron ore pellets,” the Finance Ministry said.

Iron ore fines and lumps already attract an export duty of 30 per cent.

“ In April-November, 2013, exports of iron ore pellets have risen sharply, causing an apprehension about shortage of iron ore in the country,” the Ministry added.

Duty up on gutkha

Meanwhile, the government has also increased the excise duty on pan masala and tobacco products, including gutka, chewing tobacco, unmanufactured tobacco and filter khaini packed in pouches with the aid of packaging machines under the compounded levy scheme.

The new duty rates will depend on the retail price and average speed of pouch packing machines.

“Pan masala, pan masala containing tobacco (gutkha), chewing tobacco, unmanufactured tobacco and filter khaini packed in pouches with the aid of packaging machines are leviable to excise duty on the basis of the capacity of production which is determined based on the average speed of packing machines of pouches of various retail sale prices,” the Ministry added.

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