UAE cement and steel producers feel the time is right for the reintroduction of customs duty on imports in an effort to protect the interests of local manufacturers, according to reports from Business 24-7.
Several local producers fear that as global demand for construction materials declines, imports could glut the local market. However, some warn that a duty could result in higher construction costs and add to the pressures on the financing of the project.
Mr Ajay Aggarwal CEO of RAK Steel said the government decision to reintroduce the tariff will discourage speculators. He said that "It is not a protectionist measure. It existed and was removed because any speculation or volatility in prices is not good for the market. Hence, re imposing the duty will be good for the industry.”
Mr Mustafa Gorgunel, General Manager of Union Cement Norcem, said the time is right to re impose the duty. He said that "I would say it should be increased from 5% to 10%. It has become absolutely necessary because there is sufficient availability of locally produced cement in the marketWhen they removed the customs duty last year, there was a shortage of clinker due to the high cost of imported clinker. But now the situation has totally changed."