Special Correspondent

NMDC wants ‘price indexation’ mechanism for iron ore

Seeks abolition of export duty on

steel products

Benchmark prices should be fixed on a par

with international prices

HYDERABAD: The Union Steel Ministry has renewed its request to the Finance Ministry to consider imposing 10 per cent duty on import of steel products.

The Steel Ministry had earlier recommended the import duty, while seeking abolition of export duty on the products.

Secretary of the Steel Ministry P. K. Rastogi said here on Tuesday that the Finance Ministry, which removed the export duty on steel products, did not, however, levy any import duty with a view to protecting the interests of steel manufacturers and consumers.

Steel prices had not plummeted requiring any protection for the imports.

Prices of steel dropped by 50-70 per cent compared to the ruling prices in July-August and the landing cost of imports was found to be much less than the domestic prices.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of ‘Indian steel making raw materials conference’, Mr. Rastogi said that Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) had cut down on production of some products such as hot rolled coil and long products by 37 per cent last year owing to dwindling demand.

The Steel Ministry sought the introduction of a countervailing excise duty failing which the fate of domestic companies would be endangered.

Chairman and Managing Director of NMDC Rana Som wanted a ‘price indexation’ mechanism for iron ore so that it could take care of the interests of suppliers and buyers.

As of now, prices were determined based on demand. He said benchmark prices should be fixed on a par with international prices.