Kerala Water Authority’s purchase policy leaves PVC pipe manufacturers in crisis

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on February 18, 2021

The Kerala Water Authority’s (KWA) decision to use high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes for major drinking water projects implemented under the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission instead of PVC pipes needs be dropped, demanded the All-Kerala Small Scale PVC Pipe Manufacturers’ Association (AKSSPPMA).

They pointed out that the State’s store purchase manual and purchase preference policy give preference for MSME units when purchase goods for construction activities.

Speaking to reporters, the PVC pipe manufacturers alleged that in contrary to the same the KWA has taken a decision favourable for HDPE manufacturers based outside the State. They warned that the decision of KWA will aggravate issues faced by the PVC pipe manufacturing industry, which has already been hit by the outbreak of Covid-19.

M.M. Abdul Jabbar, state president of the association said that KWA cited shortage of PVC pipes and its high price as the reasons for switching over to HDPE pipes. But it is contrary to facts. Though there was a temporary shortage of PVC resin, the key raw material used for PVC pipe manufacturing, in September and October, it is sufficiently available at present.

Despite 100 per cent increase in the prices of raw materials, the manufacturers hiked the prices of PVC pipes only by 45 per cent. Even after the hike in prices, the prices of PVC pipes remain lower than that of HDPE pipes, he said.

The manufacturers also pointed out that at present the state government receives ₹200 crore as GST from the sale of PVC pipes per year. They claimed that the PVC pipe manufacturers in the State are capable of supplying pipes required for KWA’s projects.

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Published on February 18, 2021
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