Paswan seeks 10 percent import duty on steel

November 14th, 2008 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has sought a 10-percent import duty on the commodity to provide level playing field to domestic firms that are reeling under the twin pressures of lower demand and falling global prices.”The government will soon take steps on imposing import tax. I have written to the finance ministry and the finance ministry may take a decision within a week,” he told reporters on the margins of a conference on metallurgy in Greater Noida.

“I have written for 10 percent import duty.”

The minister, who later inaugurated the ministry’s steel pavilion at the India International Trade Fair, said that India has targeted 124 million tonnes of steel per annum by 2011-12 from the current 56 million tonnes.

He also released a compendium on corporate social responsibility, titled “Bridging Communities, Building Society”, which has been conceived, designed and produced by IANS for the steel ministry.

Paswan said the consumption of steel in the country was also low for which there was an urgent need to focus on infrastructure projects, with the involvement of both the public and private sector, to push up demand for the commodity.

“I want to see the per capita steel consumption to increase by at least 11-12 percent per annum,” he said, adding that the government also wants to address the concerns of steel producers by abolishing export duty on the commodity.

The minister said India was endowed with significant ferrous and non-ferrous mineral resources and that these deposits had played a major role for the steel industry carving out a niche for itself.

He also commented on the current global economic situation and said a strong domestic demand and consumption, along with well-managed economic fundamentals, will enable India ride out the crisis and emerge stronger and more vibrant.

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