Aluminium makers demanding cheap imports meet FM

New Delhi, Sept 13 : Members of the aluminium industry met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here today and sought the government’s intervention and protection of local manufacturers from cheaper imports.

The meeting was conducted in wake of the statement by Directorate General of Safeguards to recommend duty on flat steel product imports to relief the domestic industry.

“We met the Finance Minister to represent the case of the aluminium industry and the difficulties we are facing. He gave us a patient hearing and now we will have to hope for the best,” D. Satish Pai, Deputy Managing Director, Hindalco, said.

Tom Albanese, Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Resources Plc, and other senior officials of domestic aluminium makers were also present during the meeting.

Aluminium Association of India released data over the cheaper imports have led to a significant impact on the domestic industry. It states that the total domestic capacity of 41 lakh tonnes per annum is currently operating at 50 percent capacity utilization that made the market share of domestic manufacturers to 44 percent in 2014-15 with imports nearly doubling to 15.63 lakh tonnes over 8.81 lakh tonnes in 2010-11.

Satish Pai said that the Finance Minister is aware of present situation and added that they have full faith in him for bringing active measures.

“Aluminium prices world over have collapsed in the past few months and the current indications suggest that the trend will continue. Our Lanjigarh operations have additionally been affected by the non-availability of bauxite from within Odisha,” said Vedanta in a statement.

“As a result, our cost of production is significantly higher and is impacting the viability of our Lanjigarh operations. We seem to be left with no choice but to implement a gradual closure,” the statement further read. (ANI)