Development takes place after dealers' body met Minister

Our Bureau

"Unreasonably high tyre prices have direct bearing on road transportation cost and leaves cascading impact on prices of essential commodities."

Kolkata, Sept. 19

The All-India Tyre Dealers Federation (AITDF) on Tuesday said that three major tyre companies JK Tyres, Ceat Ltd and Birla Tyres have informally indicated roll back of prices by four to five per cent primarily in the truck-bus segment.

Efforts to contact, JK Tyres and Ceat to confirm the development, however, remained unsuccessful.

The development reportedly took place a day after the dealers and a user association met the Union Commerce Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, and urged roll back of prices to the level of January 2006 keeping in tune with the sharp fall in natural rubber prices from Rs 115 in May to Rs 82.

The Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary, Mr Ajay Dua, was also present at Monday's meeting.

The dealers' body cited the example of MRF which did not join the rest of the industry during the last round of price escalation in July to press their point that the rest of the tyre industry have priced their products without any relevance to the input prices.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, AITDF claimed that the Commerce Minister was convinced that the tyres prices "should be rolled back" and immediately decided to convene the meeting of leading tyre manufacturers to implement the Government initiative on this issue.

According to AITDF, unreasonably high tyre prices have direct bearing on road transportation cost and leaves cascading impact on prices of essential commodities.

While efforts to contact Mr Dua remained unsuccessful, the AITDF release claimed that the Commerce Minister had "suspended the anti-dumping investigation on import of cross-ply truck/bus tyres and tubes from China PR and Thailand," which was initiated on the complaint from domestic tyre industry to stop such imports as they were alleged to be causing harm to domestic tyre makers.

It may be mentioned that in its preliminary findings the anti-dumping authority had ordered imposition of provisional anti-dumping duty on the concerned imports beginning October.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 20, 2006)
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