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Need customs duty hike on aluminium: AAI's response to ASMA

Wednesday - January 29, 2020 6:20 pm , Category : BUSINESS
New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Reiterating its demand for increase in customs duty on import of aluminium, the Aluminium Association of India (AAI) on Wednesday wrote to the Prime Minister claiming that Aluminium Secondary Manufacturers Association (ASMA) has misrepresented facts and shown AAI in poor light in its recent appeal to the Prime Minister.
In a recent advertisement, ASMA, which claims to represent small and medium aluminium downstream product manufacturers appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that AAI at the behest of two "giant" private aluminium producers is pressuring the Centre to increase customs duty on aluminium metal and scrap.
ASMA claims that if implemented, the customs hike would be a big blow to over 3,500 small industries involved in the manufacturing of aluminium downstream products.
AAI in its letter to the Prime Minister's Principal Secretary said the "advertorial is wholly misleading, devoid of facts and it does not accurately illustrate the prevailing conditions for the Indian aluminium industry as a whole."
"As the legitimate voice of the industry, AAI takes strong objection to the advertorial issued by ASMA, MRAI (Material Recycling Association of India) and ANMA (All India Non Ferrous Metal Exim Association) as their advert is rife with factual errors and misrepresentation of data. We are hereby appealing to all our esteemed stakeholders in the country to ignore such malicious attempts by associations which do not speak for the entire industry and which are attempting to create an environment where long-term objectives are being undermined for short term gains," AAI said.
Backing its demand for hike in customs duty of aluminium metal and scrap, the industry body said that India has become a dumping ground of aluminium and scrap due to global trade war as US imposed 10 per cent import duty on aluminium, and China imposed 25 per cent duty on US scrap, and also classified scrap in restricted import list with plan to completely ban all scrap imports by 2020, resulting in diversion of global scrap supply chain towards India.
"AAI strongly believes that in true spirit of 'Make in India' vision to entail competitiveness for entire aluminium sector including the downstream and primary producers, creating self-sufficiency in aluminium thereby removing dependency on imports and saving Forex outgo from the country. This shall have a far reaching positive impact on India's macro-economic conditions and reducing the widening trade deficit in the country," said the letter.
In its appeal, ASMA had said that small industries are badly affected due to increase in import of downstream aluminium products from China such as rolled products, extrusion, utensil, automobile parts, alloy ingot, casting among other as government of China is extending 16 per cent subsidy to these industries. It also said that aluminium scrap is encouraged across the world by keeping import duty low.

--IANS rrb/sn/kr