(PTI) The government's decision to remove the export duty on steel products will help improve the financial and operational performance of steel players, a top official of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) said.
Steel companies faced distress in the July-September quarter of the ongoing financial year due to various factors, including high input costs, JSPL Managing Director Bimlendra Jha said.
Asked about the impact of the government's action, Jha said "it was a much awaited move" which will improve financial and operational performance of steel makers.
In the July-September quarter, the top domestic steel makers, including JSPL, Tata Steel and JSW Steel, have either reported losses or posted a sharp fall in their net profits citing adverse market conditions.
The government has cut the export duty on steel products and iron ore to nil with effect from November 19, 2022 -- six months after imposition of the levy on May 21.
As per a notification, import duty on anthracite/PCI, coking coal and ferronickel -- used as raw materials in the steel industry -- has been hiked to 2.5 per cent, while for coke and semi-coke it has been raised to 5 per cent, from 'nil' earlier.
"I am sure as when the coking coal prices will go too high, the government will remove the duty because India is heavily dependent on imported coking coal for steel production," he added.
Coking coal and iron ore are the two key raw materials used in steel making.
While iron ore is domestically available, for coking coal, India is dependent on imports. The country meets 85 per cent of its coking coal requirement through imports, mainly from Australia.