ISSDA urges government to raise effective basic customs duty on stainless steel flat products

12 January 2017

Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) has urged the government to raise effective basic customs duty on stainless steel flat products from 7.5% to 12.5% to bring it on par with carbon steel. ISSDA has also requested the government to abolish import duty on key raw materials like Ferro Nickel, Pure Nickel, Ferro Moly and Stainless steel scrap to safeguard the interest of the sector, since these are not available in the country. The stainless steel industry body made these suggestions as part of its pre-budget recommendations.

In a statement released on Tuesday, ISSDA said the duty hike on finished products must be looked upon from the viewpoint that Indian stainless steel industry has faced an unprecedented surge in imports in last three years, especially from China.

“We urge the government to abolish the import duty on key raw materials which are domestically unavailable and increase the duty on finished products to bring it at par with carbon steel, K K Pahuja, president, ISSDA said.

“Stainless steel imports were highest ever at 5,32,033 MT in 2015-16, which is almost 25% of domestic demand. Out of this, more than half of the imported basket or 2,76,456 MT came from China. The imports trend in 2016-17 is also similar. Imports in April – September’16 period have registered a growth of 21% over the same period last year,” ISSDA said

‘The domestic industry is at a disadvantage due to unfavourable duty structure on finished goods which is at 7.5% against 10% in China. India has high duty rate on key raw material like Ferro Nickel, Nickel, Ferro Moly etc. The basic customs duty on carbon steel is currently at 12.5% and this was the result of two consecutive increases of 2.5% each in 2015. Therefore, there is a clear disparity in the duty structure between carbon steel and stainless steel,’ the statement added. Moreover, stainless steel flat products were completely excluded from the purview of minimum Import price regime (MIP) applicable on various carbon & alloy steel products, it said.