Ludhiana, June 18, 2015: Sh Avtar Singh, President Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) Ludhiana, in a statement released today condemned hike of 2.50% Basic Custom Duty on steel. This move is bound to further impact the already reeling MSME Sector under high cost pressure. Custom Duty on Flat Products of Steel such as hot and cold rolled (HR/CR) Sheets and coils has been raised from 7.5% to 10% and on long products of steel like TMT bars, angles and channels has been revised up words 5% to 7.5%. Actually this move will benefit steel producers like JSW steel, TATA Steel, SAIL and JSPL but has sounded death knell for all engineering, auto, bicycle and other steel consuming industries.
Sh. Upkar Singh Ahuja, General Secretary said that instead of seeking protection, Indian Steel Makers should manage their costs and upgrade their efficiency rather than demanding relief by Custom Duty hike at the cost of MSME industry which is currently battling sluggish markets and squeezed margins. He further said that MSME Sector is the mainstay of our Industrial Economy and has been contributing significantly toward the gross domestic product and generation of employment avenues. The need of the hour is to strengthen this sector, so that it can face challenges boldly. The hike in steel prices is indeed a cause of worry, which will further erode the profit margins and thereby reduce the incentives for expending industrial activity in the country. This increase has put MSME Sector at stake by eating away their sizable working capital funds. Exporters will be hit hard due to inability to keep their commitment with foreign buyers.
Both of them have strongly appealed and urged upon Sh. Narendra Modi Prime Minister, Sh. Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Sh. Narendra Singh Tomar, Steel Minister to roll back Custom Duty hike on steel Products immediately for survival of steel consuming industry which is already reeling under adverse economic scenario.