India: Scrapping of export duty on irol oil pellets to help steel and mining firms

A move by India to lower export duties to help boost the struggling steel industry has raised hopes that there will other similar measures on the way to revive India’s ailing exports.

The Indian government on Tuesday announced that it had scrapped a 5 per cent export duty on iron ore pellets to help steel and mining companies, which are suffering as high production and subdued demand have driven prices lower.

Shashi Kiran Shetty, the founder and chairman of Allcargo Logistics, headquartered in Mumbai, says that although India’s exports have not been performing well, such measures would help them to pick up.

“It’s just a matter of time,” he says. “Numerous government policies and decisions have given the export market a fillip. The numbers will surely match the potential soon.”

Exporters in India are constantly calling for incentives including lower interest rates, cash incentives and reduced export duties to help boost trade.

India’s ministry of commerce and industry is reportedly contemplating creating a fund to boost the country’s shrinking exports.

According to a government official: “The fund will solve the twin purpose of financing exports and help in their marketing,” the Indian business daily The Economic Times reported last week. “There is a need for aggressive marketing for our exports at this point of time, particularly of small and medium enterprises.”

Mr Shetty believes that India can handle the growing competition from other export nations.

“India competes with the likes of China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines for many products ranging from electronics, to automobiles,” he says.

“As India’s economy moves towards a fast-paced growth rate, it will retain and increase its share more as compared to these markets, across products and categories. Ease of doing business norms are one of the critical factors for making India’s exports more efficient.”

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