Ludhiana, May 10, 2013: Punjab steel manufacturers particularly steel furnace plants are in huge crises as 30% of plants are closed down. Those who are in operation have cut down their production by 50%. In Mandi Gobindgarh 20% furnaces are on sale and there is no buyer for them.
“This all happened due to non-cooperative behavior of Punjab Government as well as the Centre”, said Dev Gupta, general secretary, Induction Furnace Association of North India, in a statement here on Friday.
He added these crises are going hard by hard as central government has levied 2.5% additional import duty on steel scrap from May 9 this year. Availability of local scrap is in short and it prices have already gone sky high. To meet the daily need of industry it is imported from Europe and Middle East countries. With this move of the government import of scrap has become more costly which has negative effect on the secondary steel producers of Punjab who are totally dependent upon imported scrap.
He said Punjab Government is planning to change the VAT policy for steel furnace unit under it VAT has imposed on electricity consumption for per ton. Excise and taxation officials have met Mandi Gobindgarh’s association in this regard. The suitability of this policy is under criticised due to non-parameter of electricity consumption. “It creates anti -industry atmosphere in Punjab”, he remarked.
To review the present situation Induction furnace Association of North India had organised a full house meeting held at in a local hotel, which was chaired by the President K.K. Garg. “It was decided in the meeting to boycott the new VAT policy and urged the Centre to remove excise duty on import of steel scrap”, he revealed.
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