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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2008
Foundry 2008 ASIAN to import pig iron and coke from China. Therefore they sought intervention of Indian Government in the way of abolishing import duty on pig iron and restricting of iron ore. The foundries in and around Howrah, exporters of iron castings to US have suffered a setback due to the increase in price of raw materials. Since pig iron is the major raw material for iron castings and the price of pig iron in domestic market (US $650 per tonne) is much higher than the same at the international market (US $500 per tonne), the Howrah foundries are losing the export market due to price competitiveness. The Indian Foundry Association here had approached the Government to maintain the price for at least three months by pig iron producers. In Hyderabad, the production of around 200 foundries has been reduced by 50% due to hike in price of raw materials. In Agra cluster, the foundries have dropped their production by nearly 25-30% of earlier production The role of The Institute of Indian Foundrymen The Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF) is playing a significant role for the benefit of SME foundries by approaching Government on various issues. To promote export opportunities to SME foundries, IIF submitted proposal to the Government to study the global competitiveness of SME foundries in 2005. After submitting a detailed report with recommendations on this issue, the definition of micro-, small and medium enterprises were modified and the investment limits in plant and machinery on the above categories were revised upward. The upper limit of CLCSS increased to INR 10 million from INR 0.4 million. On various problems the foundries facing in recent time, IIF again presented the related issues such as increased raw material prices, 42 www.metals.rala.com.au import duty structure on raw materials, high cost of energy compared to other countries, shortage of skilled manpower, speedy environmental clearance etc. to Government in December, 2007. These issues were pursued later on by IIF through written proposals, press conference, advertisements in news papers and foundry magazines and also by conducting several meetings with ministry of steel. The major appeals of IIF to the Government were ? Export of iron ore and pig iron to be controlled with appropriate duty structure ? Import duty on pig iron and met coke to be brought to nil ? DEPB benefit for casting exporters to be increased at par with the increase in the cost of raw materials. Later on a delegation from IIF met the officials of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India in June, 2008. Various important issues discussed in the meeting were: ? Unprecedented price increase of raw materials ? Setting up of centers for skill upgradation ? Bench marking ? Energy availability at competitive prices, environmental clearance etc. Due to continued efforts of IIF, several favorable decisions are being taken by the Government on these issues. Some of these decisions in the form of notifications are abolition of import duty on steel and Al scrap, met coke, pig iron, imposition of export duty on pig iron, suspension of DEPB benefit on export of pig iron till further notice, ban on export of pig iron etc. by PSUs to facilitate the availability of raw materials to foundry industries. Since pig iron is the most important raw material for the foundries, the Indian Government has imposed a temporary restriction on export of pig iron by PSUs such as Steel Authority of India Ltd., Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. And Neelachal Australian foundry industry rises to its challenges By Simon Kay A ustralian foundries over this last year have continued to support a strong national economy, driven by the continued mineral resources boom, as well as infrastructure projects, such as water reticulation and rail. However, the industry continues to be held back from its full potential by the national skills shortage. This shortage applies not only to wider skills sets such as the electrical and mechanical trades, but also to industry-specialized trades such as patternmaking and moulding, AUSTRALIA Ispat Nigam Ltd. The Government is planning to auction pig iron produced by these PSUs for the domestic buyers at less prices. The domestic buyers would be allowed to purchase pig iron initially for 10 days, after that the rest quantity would be allowed to export. The casting units would be benefited by availing raw material at reduced price under this scheme. The private companies producing pig iron, who sell it at higher price, would also be urged to reduce the price by this scheme. Impact of these control measures would definitely assist the Indian foundries in surviving the present crisis.