New Delhi: Lauding the central government’s decision to reduce the import duty on the raw material of steel and the increase in export duty on iron ore & steel intermediates, the Institute of Indian Foundrymen IIF says the move, will help in improving availability and bring in price stability in the sector.
The finance ministry revised the import duty on coking coal and anthracite, also known as high-energy coal, from 2.5% to zero, and the duty on coke and semi from 5% to zero. The duty on ferronickel was lowered from 2.5% to zero. To improve the availability of iron ore and some other steel intermediates, the ministry raised the export duty on one item and imposed the duty on 10 other items.
Devendra Jain, President of The Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF), said the import duty reduction on the raw material of steel will bring down the domestic prices of key inputs. He expressed sincere gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the proactive measures and responding to the industry’s demand.
“The unprecedented surge in prices of raw material of steel has been a big challenge for the foundry industry in the recent months. The import duty reduction will lead to a lowering of prices and provide much-needed support to the industry. We are hopeful that the levy of export duty on iron ore and steel intermediates will also help in improving raw material availability, usher in price stability, and enhance the industry’s competitiveness in the global market,” said Mr. Jain.
The IIF President also welcomed the steep reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel, saying it will provide much-needed relief to people at large and also help in reducing logistics costs for industries.
IIF had also been demanding reduction of import duty of high grade PIG IRON, which is required for the manufacture of safety critical SG Iron castings for the Automotive Industry as well as Wind Energy equipment and export of certain items. IIF proposes to reduce Import duty on Pig Iron Containing less than 0.5% Phosphorus to Nil from 5% currently.
IIF had been advocating Technology upgradation fund for the foundry sector for a long time. There is huge opportunity for growth & improvement in global market share from less than 2% to 5-7% in 5 years in the backdrop of market sentiments post COVID being favourable to India. The industry needs to grow 3 folds in next 10 years to meet the demand of domestic manufacturing & engineering exports. This is achievable by improving technology, cost competitiveness, capacity, productivity, quality, development time for new products for global markets, specially by the MSMEs. The industry needs to invest in latest technologies to sustain and develop globally
The Institute of Indian Foundrymen is an apex National Industry body for Indian Foundry Industry (Metal Castings Industry) founded in 1950 with Head Quartered at Kolkata. IIF is actively engaged in dissemination of knowledge & promotion of latest productive & greener technology, skill development, business & export promotion & policy advocacy for the foundry sector. India is the second largest producer of castings in the world behind China. Production is approximately 11.5 Million MT per annum, while exports are in the tune of $3.54 billion per annum.
The industry also faces challenges on lots of fronts including rising input material Costs and availability of key inputs used in casting manufacturing, skilled Manpower, good quality Power at competitive rates, sand availability due to mining & environment issues, weak demand, threats of dumping of castings from China, Growing Protectionism & Trade wars, and Uncertainty due to Lack of clarity of Policy on EV Mobility.