KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 – The imposition of definitive safeguard duties on imported steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) and steel wire rods (SWR) and deformed bar in coils (DBICs) will not be a burden to builders and contractors, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghan
Johari said this in response to the reaction of the Masters Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) who said the imposition of the duties would increase the costs of construction projects, which would ultimately be passed on to the people.
“We have steel mills in the country, so if we allow these goods into the country cheaply, the existing industries in the country will be closed. This we have to defend.
“We have to look at the ecosystem. We need to have a balance. So I think what we do is that if the product can be produced locally, we do not see why we have to import,” he told reporters after attending the ‘Public Housing Projects Seri Perlis 2′ gotong-royong here today.
On the government’s move to ensure the new taxes would not affect the consumers, Johari said, the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry would ensure that the supply and demand were taken into account.
The Government had introduced safeguard duties of 13.9 per cent for steel coils and 13.4 per cent for steel rebars, following the plight of many domestic steel manufacturers, who have been experiencing margin compression or losses, especially due to dumping activities by the mainland Chinese players.
The duties will be for three years.