Budget 2016 expectations: In the forthcoming budget, the non-ferrous metals industry (Aluminium, Copper, Zinc, Lead, Tin and Nickel) is looking for level-playing field against the surge in imports due to inverse duty structure as well as dumping of cheap subsidized goods from China. This is against the backdrop of the situation being aggravated by foreign trade agreements (FTA) with ASEAN countries, which allows duty free imports of finished goods. This jeopardizes domestic producers including SMEs, and has already caused more than 17 plants in the country to shut down.
As far as different non-ferrous metal sectors are concerned, the primary producers face issues such as duty-free import under FTA, subsidized material dumping from China and abolition of 2% export incentive on copper products. Meanwhile, the secondary producers are hurt by the import duty attracted on raw materials, duty-free import of finished non-ferrous metal products under FTA and material dumping from China.
In the upcoming budget, the government should provide measures for resolving these pain points. These measures should include imposing safeguard duty on non-ferrous metal products followed by imposing anti-dumping duty and minimum import price.
Further, measures such as minimizing import duty on raw material increase of import duty on finished non-ferrous metal products, reinstatement of export incentives, and favorable policies for scrap recycling and interest subvention benefit will boost the growth of Indian non-ferrous metal industry.
The government should realize that its focus on MAKE IN INDIA in sectors such as Defence, Power, Railways, Metro, Housing and Infrastructure relies heavily on the non-ferrous metal industry. It must take a holistic approach and provide equal platform to all non-ferrous metal players such as primary producers, secondary producers and recyclers. Only when the current duty structure is rectified, made more logical and fair to all Domestic Players, and stop cheap (unwarranted) Imports; the non-ferrous metal industry can contribute, in an improved way, to the Make in India policy of the government.
By Suneel R. Mardia, CEO & Founder – Mtlexs