India has emerged the world’s second largest scrap importer toppling South Korea even as the country is in the process of drafting a comprehensive metal recycling policy.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet top industrialists from various sectors including steel, automobile and white goods in New Delhi on Thursday to seek their views on the draft metal recycling policy released early this year.

Expressing surprise over India becoming the second largest scrap importer, Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group, said in a tweet that it is a clear indication that the Indian system is not geared up for consuming internal scrap.

“Government could waive off registration fee for new car if the buyer produces a certificate for scrapping old car. Perfect opportunity for buyers to get scrap value for their old car, reduce GST and get exemption on registration of new car,” he tweeted.

Millions of jobs will be created if regulations for scrapping of old vehicles are put in place. Plastic, rubber, glass, fabric, technology and metal industries will get a boost from the auto sector and will benefit from increased demand, said Jindal.

Scrap imports increased by 35 per cent in the first half this year to 3.87 million tonnes. Shipments from United Arab Emirates was up 27 per cent to 7,11,544 tonnes while that of the UK more than doubled to 5,30,104 tonnes, according to Ministry of Commerce data.

However, supplies from the US were down seven per cent to 3,01,330 tonnes. Scraps are used as input by secondary steel manufacturers for producing rebars used in construction.

Crude steel production in the first half of this year was up five per cent at 56.96 million tonne.

Meanwhile, scrap imports by South Korea rose 11 per cent to 3.63 mt as imports from the US almost trebled to 6,89,876 tonnes. The US had diverted scrap to South Korea as the demand dipped from Turkey, the world’s largest recycler, dipped. South Korean crude steel output increased 1.1 per cent to 36.45 mt. Turkey’s economic slowdown coupled with lacklustre demand for its rebar exports, resulted in the country reducing scrap imports by 16 per cent in first half of 2019.