Budget incentives to galvanised steel makers

Galvanised steel makers like SAIL and Tata Steel will reap benefits with the Budget 2013-14 bringing down export duty on certain items to nil from 7.5 per cent earlier.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram in his Budget has proposed to extend "full exemption from export duty" to galvanised steel sheets falling under certain sub-headings with effect from March 1, 2011 retrospectively.

Galvanised sheets are coated with zinc metal and are used in roofing, panelling and automobile bodies among others.

Indian steel makers produce around four million tonnes of galvanised steel in a year, but could not make much headway in international markets as it was uncompetitive for them due to the prevailing duty.

"The reduction in the duty to nil will help them to make exports competitive," an industry source said.

The Finance Minister has also reduced basic customs duty on stainless steel wire cloth stripe from 10 per cent to five per cent and from 7.5 per cent to five per cent on wash coal for use in the manufacture of catalytic converters and their parts.

He, however, increased excise duty on stainless steel "Patta Patti" to Rs 40,000 per machine per month from Rs 35,000 earlier.

Meanwhile, the Budget has proposed to levy 10 per cent export duty on bauxite, a raw material for making aluminium and four per cent excise duty on silver manufactured from zinc/lead smelting.

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