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11. December 2005

INDIA: Rubber goods industry seeks removal of dumping duty on raw materials

Source: Daily "The Hindu Business Line", New Delhi; 5 Dec 2005

Kolkata, Dec. 4 The manufactured rubber goods industry has sought the removal of anti-dumping duty on raw materials used by the sector such as EPDM and NBR, and certain grades which are not manufactured in the country. Mr Y. S. Lathia, President of the All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA), said it was strange that when a proper equation is done on the price of the imported raw material and the indigenous one, the quality differential is not considered while fixing the anti-dumping duty. He was briefing newspersons here on Sunday (the two-day diamond jubilee celebrations of AIRIA begins on Monday.) Mr M. F. Vohra, Chairman of the Rubber Products Panel of Capexil and Managing Partner of Zenith Rubber, said that even a small scale manufacturer, who makes inferior quality raw material and hardly meets the requirements of the country, can bring the industry to a halt by getting an anti-dumping duty imposed on any vital input. "And yet, we talk about striving hard to make our finished products conform to exacting world standards," he added. Mr Vohra said the Government is now aware of the denial of a level playing field to Indian industry, and is evaluating the impact of anti-dumping duty on nitrile rubber. He felt if such levies continued, finished products made from the above polymers would be imported from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China. Mr S. K. Sarkar, Chairman, Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Committee of AIRIA, said that the association has conducted an in-depth study on how to improve the competitiveness of the Indian rubber processing industry. The report on segments of the industry covering nine centres in India, prepared jointly by a consulting agency, the Rubber Board and Capexil, has been received, he said. AIRIA has formed a sub-committee to study the recommendations and take the necessary action. Following discussions with the West Bengal Government, and in view of the stringent anti-pollution measures in the State, the eastern region of AIRIA has firmed up plans to establish a Rubber Park at Domjur in Howrah district. The Bengal Government has assured full support by way of a 50 per cent stamp duty waiver on the purchase of land. Under the industrial infrastructure upgradation scheme, a Special Purpose Vehicle called South Asia Rubber and Polymers Park Ltd has been formed and registered by the State Government. Mr Lathia, the proposed park should reduce the hardships faced by rubber units in the State and also generate employment. (Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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