Aluminium minimum import price: Commerce ministry seeks details from mines ministry

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New Delhi | Updated: February 12, 2017 1:37:22 PM

The commerce ministry has sought certain clarifications from its mines counterpart with regard to imposition of minimum import price on aluminium and a decision on such a protectionist measure will be taken in a fortnight, a top official said.

The development follows a parliamentary panel stating that the Centre is considering more measures to safeguard the interest of the aluminium industry. (Reuters)The development follows a parliamentary panel stating that the Centre is considering more measures to safeguard the interest of the aluminium industry. (Reuters)

The commerce ministry has sought certain clarifications from its mines counterpart with regard to imposition of minimum import price on aluminium and a decision on such a protectionist measure will be taken in a fortnight, a top official said. The development follows a parliamentary panel stating that the Centre is considering more measures to safeguard the interest of the aluminium industry.

“They (the commerce ministry) raised certain queries. We are sending replies of those queries to the commerce ministry,” Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar told PTI. Asked how soon a decision on imposition of MIP on aluminium is expected, Kumar said “in 10-15 days”. The government had earlier said that it was considering imposing a minimum import price (MIP) on aluminium, a move that may help stem a rise in cheaper shipments from overseas, hurting domestic manufacturers.

The domestic manufacturers had earlier called for restrictions like MIP on aluminium imports, similar to the one on steel. China, the biggest producer and consumer of metals, is exporting surplus aluminium amid weak domestic demand. In August last year, the Aluminium Association met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and pitched for protective steps against cheap imports. The situation is alarming as 50 per cent of the metal consumed in India is coming through imports, the body had said.

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According to industry data, primary aluminium producers incurred losses of around Rs 4,025 crore last fiscal, much higher than Rs 1,480 crore in 2014-15. India’s annual aluminium consumption is 3 mt and production capacity 4 mt. Nearly half the consumption is met through imports, mostly from China. Import of aluminium had increased by 159 per cent in 2015 compared to 2011 levels, industry sources said.

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