Copper bigwigs seek govt intervention to check imports
Domestic copper sector is being adversely impacted by imports from Japan and ASEAN region, industry majors Birla Copper and Sterlite Copper said today while requesting the government for an intervention.
Speaking at the India Copper Forum here, J C Laddha, CEO, Birla Copper said import is a big deterrent and a huge challenge for the domestic players.
The copper industry is being impacted by two free trade agreements (FTAs), one is with ASEAN and the other one is with Japan, he said.
In 2016-17, the total import of wire was 89,000 tonne out of which 98 per cent had come under FTA from ASEAN region and that is creating problem for local manufacturers.
The commodity has a bright future in India as the per capita consumption of copper will double by 2025 to 1 kg. In China, per capita consumption is about 9 kg and in India it is 0.5 kg.
The demand for copper will grow in sectors like power, auto and e-vehicles, construction, railways, consumer durable and renewables, he said adding "we have to create a structure within the government that facilitates policy and decision making related to copper".
These are the sectors having steady growth, he said.
He also requested the government to check the imports, and called the local industry to be globally cost competitive for which creating a level playing field for the domestic players is very important.
He urged the government to encourage growth and ensure adequate safeguard against import by various means such as non tariff barriers.
Further, he suggested the government to reconsider FTAs that lower barriers for exports, raise custom duty for downstream products to the extent that it doest not hurt downstream industry.
"We have two existing FTAs...from where we are getting a lot of imports, in fact the imported material has jumped from a level of 50,000 tonne per annum to roughly around 2,50,000 tonne which is nearly 1/3rd of the total consumption of refined copper," P Ramnath, CEO, Sterlite Copper, Vedanta Ltd said. This is a something of huge concern.
"We would like the government to take note of this so that in future FTAs these points are addressed," Ramnath said.
He further said there should be a ban on recyclers who are violating norms and compromise with the quality.
A lot of scrap, he said, is coming from producers who do not have machines to remove impurities from copper which is resulting in poor quality products.
"Overall, we would like the government to take in account the investment that the domestic copper industry has made...," he added.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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