Companies

Indsur Global puts Rs 150-cr expansion plan on hold

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018

Calls for dumping duty on foundry products

In a sign of growing stress in the manufacturing sector, Indsur Global, a leading manufacturer of power infrastructure and other types of castings, has decided to put on hold its ongoing casting expansion plan at Vadodra in Gujarat due to large-scale dumping of similar products by Chinese manufacturers.

Following the levy of a minimum import price on steel, most of the infrastructure companies are now importing value-added steel products at much cheaper price, putting the government's flagship Make in India programme at risk.

As part of its expansion and modernisation plans, Indsur Global had planned to invest Rs 150 crore to expand its existing foundry capacity. In the first phase, it had invested and installed robotics and other modern equipment, comparable to the best plants globally. It had invested Rs 50 crore in the first phase, which is now operational. However, the company has now decided to put further investment on hold on account of cheap imports from China.

SM Lodha, Chairman, Indsur Group, said generally, the foundry/ casting industry is a neglected sector and has no-level playing field as compared to China, which benefits due to subsidised power tariff, subsidised interest rates and flexible labour laws.

The situation has further worsened due to a slowdown in the Chinese manufacturing sector where the government is now subsiding 12.5 per cent on foundry products which, in turn, has started affecting the Indian companies.

There are over 5,000 units in the SME sector in India, producing over 7.50 million tonnes per year of casting products, employing over 5 lakh workers. These foundries make different types of products, which are used in power infrastructure, automobiles, railways, construction and various other industries, besides exporting, thereby, earning precious foreign exchange.

Intense competition and cost-related problems have resulted in the closure of many foundries in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and other parts of country, but this has gone unnoticed, said Lodha.

Many foundries are on the verge of closure. It is unfortunate that the industry, which employs such a large work force, has no proper voice and support from the government, he said.

It is surprising that this "large-scale labour intensive foundry industry, which is reeling under serious pressures, has never received due government attention like other sectors. The industry has approached the government for imposing anti-dumping duty on all imports of foundry products, be it for any application, for their survival.

The Government should initiate a study as to how many such units have closed in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and other states and immediately impose anti-dumping duty to safeguard the industry and livelihood of workers.

Earlier, engineering major Larsen & Toubro had filed an application with the Directorate-General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties alleging dumping of certain castings meant for wind-operated electricity generators/ windmills, originating in or exported from China, said Lodha.

Published on October 06, 2016

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