India: Soda ash duty revision sought

The Alkali Manufacturers Association of India (AMAI) has urged the Government of India to fix the import duty on soda ash between 35 and 40%. While the former is applicable to the end user, the latter…

The Alkali Manufacturers Association of India (AMAI) has urged the Government of India to fix the import duty on soda ash between 35 and 40%. While the former is applicable to the end user, the latter is the bound rate for the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Soda ash is produced synthetically and used by the end-user industries as an input to produce glass and detergents, and hence considered as an intermediate product. While import duty on soda ash has been reduced to 20% in 2001-2002, other intermediate products continue to attract a duty of 35%. This duty anomaly is leading to lack of competitiveness and would eventually lead to the collapse of the soda ash industry. The soda ash industry consumes over 50% of salt produced in India. According to AMAI, the collapse of the industry would shrink the salt industry by 50%.