Budget may bring cheer for Indian plastics industry if imports get cheaper

The Union Budget may bring in cheer for the plastics industry in India, as price of many commonly-used consumer products made from petrochemicals may decline after the upcoming Budget. The proposals under examination include reduction of Customs duty on furnace oil, naphtha, non-cooking coal and liquefied natural gas and kerosene used for industrial purposes from 10% to 5%. The department of chemicals and petrochemicals has endorsed a sharp cut in the Customs duty on various building blocks and catalysts used in the chemical and petrochemical industry before the finance ministry. The recommendation is likely to get the concurrence of the finance ministry, as it is keen to keep inflation under check, ahead of the general elections in 2009. The department of chemicals & petrochemicals has endorsed a proposal to reduce import duty on fuels required to generate steam and power in chemical plants. Import duty of these fuels is likely to be reduced to the extent that would help Indian industries to retain its competitiveness, and largely benefit users such as Reliance Industries, India Glycols and BASF Styrenics.
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