Paswan seeks abolition of import duty on naphtha

March 4th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Mumbai, March 4 (IANS) Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, and Steel Ram Vilas Paswan Tuesday said he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to seek abolition of import duty on the ‘high-on-demand’ chemical naphtha. Speaking to reporters at the two-day International PetroChem Conference 2008, here, Paswan said: “I had asked the finance minister prior to the budget to remove the import duty on naphtha but then they only reduced it.”

“However, I am planning to ask both prime minister as well as finance minister to reconsider it and remove it totally,” he said.

Paswan added that in the case of naphtha, the problem crops up because of the inverted duty structure wherein the five percent import duty on crude oil, “encourages refineries, to export naphtha rather than selling it in the domestic market”.

“In order to meet the growing naphtha demand,” there was a necessity to eliminate duty on crude oil, “or deem naphtha supply to the domestic petrochemical industry as exports,” he said.

Talking on the plastic industry, which, according to almost all speakers at the conference, needed an immediate attention, Paswan said his ministry was in the process of drafting a paper for the creation of Plastic Parks.

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