India’s Finance minister has chosen to ignore the call of Bengal chief minister to withdraw the import duty on naphtha, dealing a body blow to Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), the showpiece project of the state. The finmin failed to oblige the state by scrapping the 5% on naphtha, despite several representations made by the company and a letter written by Bhattacharjee. This now raises the shadow of net loss for the company rising to Rs 400 crore next fiscal as a result of continuation of the duty on naphtha. HPL exports nearly 27-30% of polymer and 90% of the chemicals. It buys around one fourth of its requirement of 2 mln tons naphtha under licence without paying tax.