Withdrawal of exports duty clears India’s path to global steel market

India’s journey as a global steel exporter kick started with the recent withdrawal of export duty of steel and iron products. The export duty imposed earlier in May 2022 to curb inflation and increasing supply in India’s domestic market was rolled back due to a steep fall in steel exports in October.

Steel ManufacturingImage credit: Shutterstock

The Government had withdrawn the export duty on iron ores lumps & fines below 58% Fe content, iron ore pellets and the specified steel products including pig iron on 19th November 2022 effective from 20th November 2022 to enhance infrastructure and establish “Made in India” steel brand.

Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia while delivering the keynote address at the third conclave of the Indian Steel Association (ISA) on 21st November 2022 said that in the coming years, the steel sector will not only restore its international footprint but will also reach newer heights in the domestic market.

Shri Scindia stated that the Prime Minister has put forth the mandate to enhance capital infrastructure by nearly ₹17 lakh crore per year, thus increasing demand for steel by close to double digits (approx. 10% per year). He further added that the Indian steel sector has emerged from a difficult time during Covid but has now emerged globally from being a 4th largest producer to the 2nd largest producer and the 2nd largest consumer of steel.

India’s steel export and import from 2017-2022 (Source: Steel.gov.in)

He added that the transformational growth path was envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the form of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat by Shatabdi Kal in 2047.

The minister further added that the policy of using domestic steel has saved ₹ 22,400 crores on steel imports. Further to increase domestic production, Shri Scindia said that the PLI Scheme (Productivity Linked Incentive) for speciality steel has received 79 applications from 35 companies, resulting in an investment of up to ₹ 46,020 crore and increase in capacity of almost 26 million tons, and employment generation potential of nearly 70,000 people.

On the scrapping of export duty on steel, the Finance department stated– “The current measures will provide a fillip to the domestic steel industry and boost exports”.

The Indian Steel Association said – “reducing export duty on iron ore and removal of levy on stainless steel will go a long way in correcting India’s balance of trade”.

The steel industry saw a steep fall in the market after the duty was imposed in May 2022. With the scrapping of export duty this month, the industry is aiming to re-establish itself as a crucial foundational part of the Indian infrastructure.

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