Foundry sector demands suspension of iron ore, pig iron exports

The Indian Foundry Industry (IFA) has demanded temporary but immediate suspension of the export of pig iron and iron ore to protect the foundry sector of the country from the current crisis of volatility in the price of raw materials.

In an interactive session with media persons here on Thursday, IFA chairman and managing director of Govind Steel Company Limited, Dinesh Kumar Sakseria pointed out that the backbone of the foundry sector of the country has collapsed due to the unprecedented rise in the prices of key raw materials namely pig iron, refractories, foundry flux and chemicals.

“Hence our demand is the temporary suspension of the export of pig iron and iron ore,” he said. According to him, although there is a shortage of iron ore in the domestic market, the export of iron ore has gone up more than 250% during the last three financial years.

“Unless export duty on both these items is not raised quite high, not only the Foundry Industry, but the government also loses earnings through value added products like steel and metal castings,” he added. He stressed on the need for reducing import duty on pig iron, metal scrap met coke and chemicals.

He pointed out that despite facing several odds, the foundry sector in West Bengal was carrying on absorbing the high cost of power, since it is a power intensive industry. “The cost of power is as high as 20% of the manufacturing cost,” he added.

According to him, West Bengal has been the pioneer in the foundry sector of the country, where 95% of the foundries are run by medium and small enterprises (MSMEs). “These MSMEs are supposedly the highest priority sector to the central as well as state governments,” he said.

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