Govt mulling raising import duty on steel to support rupee

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New Delhi, Sep 19: The steel ministry has proposed increasing the effective import duty on some steel products to 15 per cent from current rates ranging from 5 per cent to 12.5 per cent, according to two sources and a government document reviewed by Reuters, as the country looks to support the rupee.
The proposal, which is part of a broader government plan to cut “non-necessary” imports to stop an outflow of dollars that has sent the rupee to record lows, will be discussed in the trade ministry on Wednesday, according to one of the sources involved in the matter.
“The broader message is to address the trade balance but we will try to promote ‘Make in India’ by encouraging domestic (steel) production,” said the source, who declined to be named ahead of a possible decision.
The source said there was no certainty that the proposed duty would be imposed.
The steel and trade ministries did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
In the three months to end-June, India became a net steel importer for the first time in two years, with foreign supplies reaching 2.1 million tonnes, up 15 per cent from a year earlier, according to official data.