‘Centre must consider classifying aluminium as ninth core industry’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 24, 2018

Important role Aluminium plants are mostly based in the hinterland and aid in generating employment and economic development of the region   -  Akhilesh_Kumar

Report says the sector contributes to 2% of manufacturing GDP, creates about 8 lakh jobs

The Centre must actively consider classifying the aluminium sector as India’s ninth core industry, according to a report by VK Saraswat, NITI Aayog member, and Aniruddha Ghosh, a Delhi-based economist.

The aluminium sector contributes to nearly 2 per cent of manufacturing GDP and is a high direct and an indirect employment multiplier creating close to 800,000 jobs.

Currently, India identifies coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity as the eight core industries.

The report recommends that aluminium plants are generally based in the hinterlands of the country and aid in generating peripheral employment and economic development of the region. “Therefore, we recommend into looking actively into the possibility of classifying aluminium as a core industry,” the report suggested.

Separate energy policy

A separate energy policy also needs to be developed for the energy-intensive sectors. “High energy intensive sectors are being penalised by paying high carbon tax through various cesses and duties. A separate energy policy for these industries should ensure they receive power at globally competitive rates so that they can compete with global players,” the report recommended. In order to aid the aluminium sector, rake availability in the Railways needs to be addressed. “N-BOX and BTAP wagons are in shortage; their poor availability affects coal movement and results in working capital blockage. Several mineral-rich areas of the country are yet to be connected with durable transportation infrastructure.” The report also said that India lacks a robust geological database which can be mined for bauxite exploration. It also recommends the creation of an ecosystem for fly-ash be created around these aluminium production plants which can used as a feedstock for brick, gravel and cement-manufacturing industries.

Published on July 24, 2018

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