ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Excise Hurts

Unlike in other countries, stainless steel is at present used in India mainly for production of utensils; only small quantities are used for fabrication of chemicals vessels and in other industrial applications. Direct import of stainless steel sheets has been banned for several years now. Only limited quantities have been coming into the country by way of export entitlements and through barter deals entered into by bodies like the STC and the MMTC. While most of the stainless steel imported against entitlements has been finding its way into the open market, that imported by the STC and MMTC is allotted by the iron and Steel Controller to utensil manufacturers on the basis of fixed quotas at a price of about Rs 17 per kg. Some manufacturers have been finding it more profitable to divert a portion of their quotas to the market where they have been able to secure as much as Rs 30 per kg. The shortage of stainless steel which pushed up prices of sheets was responsible for the high prices of utensils which were around Rs 37 to Rs 40 per kg till only a couple of months ago.

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