Finance Ministry urged to save ‘stressed’ aluminium sector

Bhubaneswar: Mines ministry has urged the Finance ministry to take steps to protect the domestic aluminium industry that is facing a tough time, a top official said.

“Aluminium sector is…undergoing stressful situation. And we are requesting the Finance ministry to take up certain issues which are required to protect the domestic aluminium industry,” said Mines secretary Balvinder Kumar.

Domestic aluminium industry has expressed concern over the rising import of the metal, its scrap and acute raw material scarcity in the country, he said.

The Aluminium Association of India maintained that the industry has seen a huge surge in imports in recent years from 8.81 lakh tonne in 2010-11 to 15.63 lakh tonne in 2014-15 financial year. Most of the imports come from the Middle East and China.

The body also demanded that the Centre increase import duty on these products.

Import of aluminium waste and scrap has also increased at a compound annual growth rate of 16 per cent in the same period, it said.

“Indian aluminium industry is at a critical phase where it requires support from the government to maintain not only its current viability but also protect growth plans that have significant economy contributions and benefits,” B.K. Shrivastav, vice-president (Community Relations) of Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), said in Raipur recently.