In view of the deadlock over imposition of export duty of 20 per cent on galvanised steel in Kolkata port, a temporary arrangement has been reached to provide relief to the exporters.
The port authorities have allowed exporters to ship the commodity in lieu of bonds, till the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) come out with a clarification on the issue.
“As a temporary measure, exporters have been allowed to ship against bonds. We are waiting for a clarification from CBEC on the issue,” said a spokesperson from EEPC.
Once the matter is resolved, the port authorities would release the bond after adjustment of the customs duty, if any, said the spokesperson.
Last month of Kolkata port had imposed 20 per cent export duty on galvanized steel, which has led to an imbroglio over steel shipment from the port.
Subsequently, EEPC India (formerly known as Engineering Export Promotion Council) had sought clarification from the ministry of commerce and the Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC), ministry of finance, on policy with regard to export duty on galvanized steel.
According to the second schedule of the customs tariff, all products under HS Code 7210 (Flat rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel, plated or coated with Zinc) are subject to 20 per cent export duty. However, so long no such duty was being imposed, and Kolkata port was the only port to impose such duty.Exporters had requested EEPC to take up the matter with the customs authorities and include flat rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel, plated or coated with Zinc, in the exemption category.
“A large number of shipments of major primary steel manufacturers are being held up due this confusion at the Kolkata Port. At a time when engineering exports was down by 8.33 per cent during April-October 2012, such a stoppage in only one port of country will create considerable problems in halting the decline in exports in the current year,” said Aman Chadha, chairman, EEPC India, had earlier said.
“The government must clarify whether there was an inadvertent drafting error with the schedule, or was/is there an actual policy decision to impose Export Duty. The government must also clarify why Export Duty is being sought at Kolkata port only and not at any other ports,” Chadha had said.