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China factor: Centre hikes steel import duty

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Some basic info to understand this news better:

  • Import duty is tax collected on imports and some exports by the customs authorities of a country. This tax is used to raise state revenue. It is based on the value of goods called ad valorem duty or the weight, dimensions, or other criteria of the item such as its size. Also referred to as customs duty, tariff, import tax and import tariff.

Now the news:

The domestic steel industry from surging Chinese imports, the Finance Ministry has hiked the duty imposed on various categories of steel.

  • However, categories such as stainless steel (flat) and CRGO (cold rolled grain-oriented electrical) steel have been exempted.
  • Barring exempted categories, steel products with 5 per cent duty will attract 7.5 per cent duty, a 2.5 percentage point increase. Products (barring a few) having 7.5 per cent duty will now have 10 per cent duty, again a 2.5 percentage point increase.
  • Though the industry feels that the hike should have been higher, Ministry officials said considering the current market situation, it is sufficient and will certainly curb dumping. Steel imports rose 69 per cent in the April-January 2014-15 period and reached 8.12 million tonnes. Out of this, China’s share was 2.9 mt, a whopping 205 per cent rise from 953,350 tonnes in the same period a year ago.It is this that prompted both the steel companies and the Ministry to push for a duty hike.
  • Following the Finance Ministry’s decision, Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said after anti-dumping duty, this is another concrete step toward ‘Make in India.’

Know more on this news topic:

  • Dumping :In international trade, when the export by a country or company of a product at a price that is lower in the foreign market than the price charged in the domestic market, then it is called dumping. As dumping usually involves substantial export volumes of the product, it often has the effect of endangering the financial viability of manufacturers or producers of the product in the importing nation.
  • Make in India : Make in India is an initiative of the Government of India, to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India. It was launched on 25 September 2014. The major objective behind the initiative is to focus on 25 sectors of the economy for job creation and skill enhancement