Tyre dealers up in arms over AIRIAs charges

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: May 25 2013, 06:30am hrs
The All India Tyre Dealers' Federation (AITDF) has taken strong objection to All India Rubber Industries Association's (AIRIA) complaint of cheap quality Chinese rubber goods imports. AIRIA's charges about the import of sub-standard radial tyres and tubes from China and the need to remove anti-dumping duty on tyres are misleading," S P Singh, convenor, AITDF, told FE.

Stung by the charges and the contents of the letter that AIRIA had sent to the ministry of commerce earlier this week, AITDF has followed suit.

"We have written to the Centre that while we hold no grudge against any concession to the rubber industry, it must seriously cross-check the facts quoted by rubber industry leaders. Their statement of having no quality checks for radial tyres and tubes is misleading."

Moreover, the AITDF letter to the Centre urges immediate intervention in rolling back tyre prices. The government should take initiative "in getting prices of tyres and tubes rolled back in accordance with a steep drop in raw material prices, which could immediately bring a 10-15% cut in tyre and tube prices in the domestic replacement market.

The depreciating rupee is making tyre imports unviable and domestic manufacturers are taking full advantage of the captive local market. The latest financial results of leading domestic tyre makers clearly display that the benefit of a drop in raw material prices is not getting reflected in the retail prices of tyres and tubes, says the letter. The Centre, according to Singh, should ask the domestic tyre majors to roll back tyre and tube prices in accordance with a significant fall in the prices of raw materials.

On the other hand, a large majority of SMEs engaged in the manufacturing of rubber tube, tyres have not taken BIS quality certification for their products, which has been mandatory since May 2011 under the Quality Control Order 2009 for automobile tyres and tubes, says AITDF.

Earlier, AIRIA had approached the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and the ministry of commerce over the sudden surge in cheap manufactured rubber goods from China, which forced rubber product manufacturing units to shut shop in India. As reported by FE on Friday, AIRIA had said that often they (rubber goods from China) are manufactured from scrap. The scrap contains degraded motor oil, which is carcinogenic. Moreover, these goods do not meet the guidelines laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards, the association alleged.