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MACHINIST - AIFI disappointed with 5% import duty on iron and steel

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AIFI disappointed with 5% import duty on iron and steel
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Written by Anand   
Friday, 21 November 2008

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Chennai – The Association of Indian Forging Industry has expressed its disappointment with the imposition of 5% import duty on iron and steel products. The move will further fuel inflation.

"On the one hand the Finance Minister is calling for price cuts from the industry to stoke up demand and on the other creating tariff barriers which would lead to increase in prices of steel, that contributes upto one third of the inflation - say about 300 basis points.  This is not just sending confusing signals but is also adding to the general negative sentiment," Mr. Vidyashankar Krishnan, President, AIFI said.

“The move will keep steel prices at high levels, leading to higher inflation and be a big blow for steel user industry” - Mr. Vidyashankar Krishnan, President, AIFI

"The Government’s altering the levy structure to suit the steel industry, is a move that is missing out on about 300 to 500 basis points of deflation potential so critical to infuse funds and liquidity into the financial system. Conversely, if steel prices are allowed to seek real levels, not only would the inflationary trend be halted, but even reversed. This would provide greater leeway to the finance ministry and RBI in resorting to pump priming which is very essential to lift out an economy in the throes of recession, " he added.

"It is surprising that the steel lobby that had cited market forces earlier till September 2008 for getting their increases through has turned around and is now against the very same market principles that they were quoting.  Perhaps, they want to continue to cash in by re-structuring markets to their convenience by asking for even higher import duty on steel," a statement issued by AIFI said.

"Hence, for the above reasons, AIFI reiterates the call to the Government of India and all policy makers to allow steel prices to reduce to international levels or even lower so that Indian auto component manufacturers can regain export competitiveness and survive. Thereby the Indian economy would bounce back on the back of export lead growth," the statement said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 November 2008 )
 
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