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India's duty revision on iron ore, aluminium to boost Vedanta

[NEW DELHI] India said on Monday it would raise the import duty on aluminium but cut the export tax on low grade iron ore, a move that would benefit Vedanta Ltd the most as it is a big producer of both commodities.

Shares of the company, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, rose as much as 3 per cent after a budget document said the import duty on aluminium will be raised to 7.5 per cent from 5 per cent while the export duty on low-quality iron ore fines would be scrapped.

The current duty on iron ore fines, mostly mined in the western state of Goa, is 10 per cent. The government will also scrap the 30 per cent export duty on low-quality iron ore lumps. "The iron ore duty cuts will help miners liquidate stocks at a time when international prices are low," Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar, who proposed the revisions, told Reuters.

The aluminium duty will boost local manufacturing by stemming the flow of cheap imports from countries like China, he said.

India unveiled a largely pro-poor budget on Monday, announcing new rural aid schemes and skimping on a bank bailout, in a strategy shift that seeks to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party in coming state elections.