Haldia Petrochemicals worried over naphtha duty re-imposition

March 1st, 2008 - 11:28 pm ICT by admin  


Kolkata, March 1 (IANS) Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), a showpiece joint venture project of the West Bengal government, is worried over the proposal in the union budget to re-impose five percent import duty on naphtha. Reacting to the budget proposal, HPL in a statement said Saturday: “This new proposal is a major setback for us”.

Jointly promoted by West Bengal Industrial Development Corp (WBIDC), Chatterjee Petrochem (Mauritius) Co Ltd and Tata Group, HPL is a modern naphtha-based petrochemical complex located at Haldia in East Midnapore, 125 km from here.

“This is a reversal of a reduction that was given two years back, when it was brought down to zero from 5 percent. The polymers import duty was also brought down to 5 percent then,” the statement said.

HPL is the only petrochemical unit in the country that needs to import naphtha, as other petrochemical producers are either gas-based or producing naphtha in their own refineries.

“Now import duty on its raw material and product is the same and hence duty differential stands totally withdrawn,” the company said.

“Re-imposition of import duty will be a crushing blow to the development of petrochemical industries in India whereas import duty in major petrochemical producing countries in South East Asia and China is nil,” it added.

HPL’s sole raw material naphtha has already seen 36 percent price rise this year due to the spurt in global prices.

“This will have a major adverse impact on the bottom line,” the company said.

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