Response of Mr S.K. Roongta, Chairman, SAIL, on Union Budget 2007-08
Development of infrastructure in the country is critical. Emphasis given by the Finance Minister through higher outlays for Bharat Nirman, irrigation projects, power, drinking water, roads network, etc., and mutual funds dedicated for infrastructure projects, is a welcome step.
- Govt. has rightly recognised the need to conserve mineral wealth, especially iron ore, for value addition within the country. In this context, levy of export duty on iron ore and concentrates is timely. It will be appropriate if revenue so generated is utilised for developing infrastructure in and around mineral bearing areas.
- Finance Minister has done well in recognising the need for skill upgradation of our workforce - an important issue for the industry, by initiating certain steps like upgradation of ITIs, etc.
- We are happy that the much awaited phasing out of Central Sales Tax (CST) is finally going to begin in 2007-08, ultimately leading to a common goods and service tax by 2010. This should be welcomed by the entire industry.
- As our economy grows, consumers are becoming more conscious about quality of products. Budget proposal to reduce import duty on defective and seconds steel could have been avoided.
- On the whole, it is a welcome and positive budget for the steel industry.