Budget 2013: Exempt customs duty on natural gas used for steel manufacturing, suggests FICCI

 FICCI has recommended exemption of customs duty on Liquefied Natural Gas used for steel manufacturing process to lessen the burden on steel manufacturers in Budget 2013.


NEW DELHI: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has proposed a memorandum seeking exemption of customs duty on Liquefied Natural Gas used for steel manufacturing process in budget 2013. 

At present, imported natural gas is subjected to a charge of 5 per cent of customs duty. With the preference for supply of domestic gas given to fertilizer and power sectors, gas based steel plants are left with no other option but to import gas. 

FICCI has highlighted the plight of steel manufacturers stating that high price of LNG is making gas based steel manufacturing unviable. In the 2011-12 budget, customs duty granted to import of LNG for power generation by utilities was reduced to nil. 

Industry representatives often complain that with stiff competition and sky rocketing prices, it is getting tough for them to survive the pressure and meet targets. 

Finance Minister, P Chidambaram will be presenting a union budget for the fiscal year starting in April, later this month, which analysts see as a key test of commitment to shoring up finances.