Exporters breathe a sigh of relief over reduced duties


New Delhi: Reducing excise duties on gasoline and diesel and streamlining customs duties on goods such as raw materials for plastics and steel will help reduce logistics costs, promote manufacturing competitiveness and exports of value-added goods, exporters said on Sunday.

The government on Saturday announced a reduction in excise duty on petrol by a record Rs8 per liter and that on diesel by Rs6 per litre. It also reduced import duties on steel and plastic raw materials and increased export duties on iron ore and steel intermediates. Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) Chairman A Sakthivel said the measures will bring down domestic prices of key inputs, thus mitigating inflation.

“It will also enhance the competitiveness of the manufacturing and export sector and further boost the country’s value-added exports. These proactive measures will also ease the logistics pressure and reduce the country’s freight bill, as in some cases the same raw material was exported from the country and then imported by downstream users,” Sakthivel said.

Sharing similar views, Mumbai-based leading exporter and chairman of Technocraft Industries, Sharad Kumar Saraf, said lower excise duties on gasoline and diesel will reduce logistics costs and support exports, particular of freight-sensitive products.

“Export duties on iron ore and semi-finished steel products such as HR coils and bars are already having a desired effect. Steel prices have started to fall and this will have a significant positive impact on our engineering exports. The government is to be commended for such actions,” Saraf said.

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