COIMBATORE (India) : Frequent increase in raw material price threatens to hit production, and thus employment, in the foundries here and also slowdown casting exports from this region. Coimbatore currently accounts for about one-fourth of the country’s Rs. 4,000 crore annual casting exports. At a press conference organised by the Coimbatore chapter of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen here recently, the association representatives said that the units faced an ‘unprecedented increase’ in raw material prices mainly, pig iron, coke, steel and scrap. Explaining, the foundrymen said the Chinese Government recently imposed export duty on coke and pig iron, thus encouraging its industries to export value added products. India, on the other hand, continued to export the basic raw material – iron ore. The units here were unable to import pig iron and coke from China, which was the main raw material for the foundries.
The Government should control export of iron ore. It should also abolish import duty on pig iron to bring down the prices. The Duty Entitlement Passbook (DEPB) Scheme benefits for casting exports should be increased in proportion to the current hike in raw material costs and the DEPB cap should be removed, they pleaded.