Will not accept unfair taxes on steel, aluminum industry: Piyush Goyal

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Expressing serious concerns over the European Union’s move to impose carbon tax on imports from certain sectors like steel, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday assured the domestic industry that India will not accept such unfair taxes and will fight to get a fair deal for producers and exporters.

He said India has already flagged its concerns over the carbon tax with the European Union (EU) and in the WTO (World Trade Organization).

The CBAM (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism) or carbon tax (a kind of import duty) will come into effect from January 1, 2026, but from October 1 this year, domestic companies from seven carbon-intensive sectors, including steel, cement, fertiliser, aluminium and hydrocarbon products, will have to share data with regard to carbon emissions with the EU.

“I will assure you that we are extremely concerned about CBAM…We are taking it up with the WTO very very seriously. We shall try to work and fight to get a fair deal for the Indian producers and exporters and nobody is complacent about CBAM,” he said here at a function of the steel industry.

The minister said the world will have to take a view on this tax and India would onboard other countries on the issue to address this “very serious” concern.

“We will always find innovative solutions but I can assure you that India will not be accepting unfair taxes or levies being put on the Indian steel or aluminum industry or any other industry,” he said adding “let us not be scared of it and find solutions which will be to our advantage going forward”.

He said the EU would have to allow “common but differentiated responsibility” to India on the issue as New Delhi is a developing economy.

According to a report of think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), CBAM will translate into a 20-35 per cent tax on select imports into the EU starting January 1, 2026.

India’s 26.6 per cent of exports of iron ore pellets, iron, steel, and aluminium products go to the EU. These products would be hit by CBAM. India exported these goods worth USD 7.4 billion in 2023 to the EU.

Further, he said the government is working to provide better access to its steel industry in different countries through free trade agreements (FTAs).

To protect domestic steel players from dumping, India is including provisions like “high” value-added norms and “melt and pour” in these agreements.

“We are looking at both the options so that our steel industry gets protected from any dumping from the developed world,” he said adding these provisions would deter countries from misuse of FTAs.

He also asked the industry to provide information about businesses who are importing that steel which is available here at competitive prices as such irrational imports hurt domestic manufacturing and demand.

Talking about the steel production, Goyal expressed hope that the target of doubling the production to about 300 million tonne per year would be achieved by 2030.

On coking coal, he said the industry should work on some alternatives in this direction to cut down these imports as research and development, and smart ideas will help handle the issue and it would also lead to sustainable production practices.

“We have to seriously look” at steel recycling to cut pollution and import of coking coal.

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Pooja Gupta

CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, M.com) having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, M.com) having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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