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May 10, 2008

Govt to waive steel import duty, remove price ceilings

Malaysian government said on Friday it will waive its import duty on steel and remove price ceilings on domestically produced steel in market liberalisation steps designed to ease supply shortages.

The measures, effective May 12, will help local builders get sufficient supplies and ensure smooth implementation of development projects, Reuters quoted Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as saying Friday.

Builders, property developers and contractors have lobbied the government to review the price controls, citing a steel shortage and the emergence of a black market that has boosted costs and delayed deliveries.

Abdullah said the current ceiling prices were well below the international prices. "The government has received many complaints ... on the difficulties of getting supplies at ceiling prices," he said in a statement.

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