"We have sent it (request) to Revenue (Department under the finance ministry). Ferro nickel and stainless steel scrap, we have sent request (to remove the import duty) for both," Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said in New Delhi.
Last week, the secretary answering to a question related to the import duty on raw materials had said, "There are only ferro-nickel and scrap of stainless steel (which are being levied import duty)".
In the Union Budget for 2017-18, the government had waived basic Customs duty on nickel, a key element used for making stainless steel, which stood at 2.5 per cent.
Acknowledging the steps being taken by the ministry to safeguard the interests of domestic steel industry, president of industry body Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) K K Pahuja said if the import duty on ferro-nickel and stainless steel scrap is removed it will bring down the cost of production of stainless steel in the country.
Important elements like nickel and chromium are already present in stainless steel scrap, so the stainless steel industry will not need to get the two components, which will save time as well as cost of production, he said.
When stainless steel is made with mild steel, these two components are added. So, removal of import duty on stainless steel scrap along with ferro-nickel will be a win win situation, Pahuja said.
It will also create a new market for manufacturing of various stainless steel products such stainless steel pipes for use in water supply. At present, in water supply galvanised steel pipes are used which catch leakages and are not corrosion-free so bacteria also develops in them. This leads to wastage of water and at times causes health issues.
Besides, the plastic pipes get crack and catch fungus and algae, he said, adding that introduction of stainless steel pipes in water supply and storage will address these issues.
The secretary said the life of stainless steel pipes will be more and maintenance cost will be near to zero.