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Govt scraps export duty on iron ore pellets

Business Standard:  January, 2016

New Delhi: Meeting yet another demand of steel and mining companies to make domestic industry competitive, the government scrapped export duty on iron ore pellets.

In 2014, the government had imposed a five per cent export duty on iron ore pellets, which are value-added products of the leftover material or low-grade iron ore, generally used in steel making.

This measure comes at a time when the government is also thinking of imposing minimum import price (MIP) on steel imports. It has already imposed safeguard duty as well as stringent quality norms on select steel products.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on Tuesday announced the amendment in its notification, where “5 per cent” was substituted by “nil”, as it was deemed to be necessary in public interest.

Steel and its related raw material market is undergoing a tough time on account of subdued demand and high production, which is adversely impacting the prices.

Additionally, a fall in demand in China, the worlds’ biggest metal consumer, is leading to the country dumping excess steel and other finished products in consuming countries, including India, a move that has impacted the top- and bottom-line of the mining and steel companies.

The development comes after mining and related industries approached the government, last year, to provide exemption to them on the lines of those provided to state-run mines of NMDC.