Plastic industry seeks end to erratic price rise

July 10th, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 10 (IANS) Representatives of plastic industry Thursday met V.S. Sampath, principal secretary in the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, to discuss the soaring prices of raw materials. “We met to discuss the problems of abnormal and erratic price rise of plastic raw materials,” K.K. Seksaria, president of Indian Plastics Federation (IPF), said.

Apart from the officials from the Plastic Processors’ Association, representatives of Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), Gas Authortity of India Ltd (GAIL) and Reliance Petroleum also attended the meeting. These companies supply raw materials to plastics industry.

The key issues for discussion were price hike by the primary producers of raw materials and inadequate availability of raw materials in the domestic market.

“During the last two months. raw material prices were revised six times. It shot up from Rs.76 to Rs.112 per kg,” Seksaria said.

“Primary producers have ensured the chemicals and the fertilisers ministry that they will give top most priority to the domestic customers and will export raw materials, if only there is some surplus,” he added.

The primary producers have said it was difficult to arrest raw material prices keeping in view the rising crude prices, but they pledged to try to check erratic price rise and to hike prices only once in a month.

“IPF has requested the ministry for abolition of five percent customs duty on polymer and naphtha, which was imposed during the last union budget,” Seksaria said.

It has also requested the ministry to slash excise duty on plastic raw materials and finished goods from present 14 percent to eight percent. This was also supported by the primary producers.

“The principal secretary has ensured that the appeal would be taken to the finance ministry as soon as possible,” he said.

To bridge the demand-supply gap of raw materials, IPF has also requested the ministry to consider lifting ban on import of post-industrial scraps, which can be used as raw materials.

“Every one agreed that supply situation has to be improved to safeguard 55,000 plastic processing units in the country,” he added.

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