“Our Government is fully aware and concerned about the problems being faced by the rubber and steel industry due to the Free Trade Agreements and dumping by various countries. We acknowledge that our domestic steel and rubber industries are indeed suffering from cheap imports and these Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)”, highlighted Mr Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Steel and Mines, while addressing the CII Rub Tech, flagship event on rubber industry organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and HASETRI, in the national capital, here today.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and are in consultation with the Ministries of Finance and Commerce and the Prime Minister to decide and reconsider on these FTAs and further increase in anti dumping duties very soon to safeguard the suffering rubber and steel industry domestically”, he added.
It may be added here that, between FY'09' and FY'11', India signed three major trade agreements with Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Korea and Japan,respectively.
On the need for imposing a safeguard duty on steel, the Minister highlighted that “We are investigating the same and the proper judicial process will be followed for imposing such a duty only after appropriate analysis and examination”.
“Further, though we are in the list of top five largest producers of rubber, but the potential is immense, considering its mass requirement due to urbanisation and focus on infrastructure projects, and it being one of the very vital ingredients used all across the manufacturing sectors. The government and private entities in India need to build new competitive advantage by significantly investing in research and development activities. The level of overall R&D spending in India, as a share of the country GDP, needs to grow from below 1 percent and come closer to that of 3.4 percent in Japan, 2.9 percent in the US and 1.8 percent in China”, added the Minister.
"Inverted duty structure has been a bane for rubber sector in India and has stifled the growth of this vital sector of manufacturing. Though the duty is 25 % on natural rubber and 10 % on finished goods, but due to the FTAs, the final impact is just 6 %. Our Agreements with Asian countries have led to ballooning of trade deficit with these countries in non-tyre rubber products”, lamented Dr Raghupati Singhania, Chairman, CII Rubtec 2015 & CMD, JK Tyre & Industries.
“The rubber industry in India needs to build an export eco system, attract more foreign investment and focus on innovation and technology. It is imperative that organized and long-term technology led initiatives, that could deepen India’s global footprints are undertaken”, he shared.
“The per capita usage of rubber in India is less than half of the world average, one fifth of China and one tenth that of Japan. Indian car population has doubled during 2000 to 2010, from 10 million to 24 million. Further, it is expected to exceed 90 million by 2025. Hence, a lot needs to be done to meet this demand domestically”, he added.
“To achieve success in our Prime Minister’s “Make in India” campaign, targeted to transform India into a manufacturing leader, India needs to become competitive in ease of doing business, invest heavily in infrastructure and enhance its manufacturing expertise and competitiveness to compete globally. CII RubTec would act as an ideal platform to resolve the bottlenecks and boost the rubber sector”, shared Mr Shreekant Somany, Chairman, CII NR and CMD, Somany Ceramics Limited.
27 August 2015