November 20: India has scrapped export taxes on low-grade iron ore and on some intermediate steel products starting from Saturday, according to a news report published by Reuters.
According to the news agency, India took such measures after months of complaints from miners and steel makers about loss of foreign sales opportunities.
The move, set out in a notification issued late on Friday, reverses the imposition in May of a 50 percent tax on exports of iron-ore lumps and fines with less than 58 percent iron content, Reuters added.
“The government also reversed a May rise in export tax on iron ore concentrates other than roasted iron pyrites. That tax now returns to 30 percent from 50 percent.”
According to Reuters, the additional taxation imposed in May was intended to boost domestic supply of iron ore, a raw ingredient for making steel, and thereby hold down inflation.
India exported less than half as much steel in the seven months to October as it did a year earlier, Reuters reported citing government data.
Major steel makers have reportedly urged the Indian government to unwind the additional export taxation, saying it added to their problem of weakening international demand.
Despite the latest tax reductions, a top miners' organisation remained doubtful about the prospect of exports reviving.
"Once you disturb the trade, to recover is very difficult." Reuters quoted RK Sharma, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, as saying.