Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE: The Steel Manufacturers Association of Kerala has suggested to the Centre that the Central Excise duty on steel products and imported steel scrap be withdrawn in view of the spiralling input costs in the steel industry.

Such a measure would reduce as much as Rs.6,000 per metric tonne in the final selling price of steel.

Talking to media persons here on Tuesday, K. Pankajakshan, president; Ashraf Parayil, secretary; and P.K. Ahammed, founder president of the association; and others expressed concern at the steep increase in steel prices and the adverse impact it had on the building industry in the State and the country.

A major factor in the increase in price of steel was the steep increase in the cost of raw materials such as metal scrap, the price of which had doubled since April 2007, and other inputs including sponge iron and silicon manganese. The present selling price of steel was Rs.50,000 a metric tonne, of which Rs.2,000 went to the State government as KVAT and Rs.6,000 to the Centre.