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Indian prime minister to review import duty

Keywords: Tags  Metal Recycling Association of India, Sanjay Mehta, MRAI, scrap imports, Manmohan Singh, India imports, Jagdish Kumar

MUMBAI, India — Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh will review the country’s scrap metal import duties, according to the Metal Recycling Association of India (MRAI).

MRAI officials met Singh Aug. 13 to lobby for the removal of India’s additional duty on scrap imports. The MRAI has also called for corrections to the inverted duty structure in lieu of free-trade agreements with trading partner countries, including the South Asian Free Trade Area, which doesn’t impose import duties on scrap metal.

"We have met the prime minister and he assured us that he will look into the matter, and will address our concerns with the finance ministry," MRAI vice president Sanjay Mehta told AMM sister publication Steel First Sept. 2. "We were told that, in the first week of September, there might be announcements on issues raised with the prime minister."

Manufacturers, who must pay a 4-percent duty on all scrap metal imports, are the hit hardest by the duty, according to the association.

India relies on imported scrap as a principal raw material due to the poor availability of local scrap.

"Of the total imports, 60 percent of scrap is consumed by small electric-arc furnaces and 40 percent is consumed by big (sector participants) such as Tata Steel Ltd. and JSW Steel Ltd.," Mehta said.

Most developed and developing countries don’t impose duties on imports of raw materials such as scrap.

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.

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