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Expensive raw material: foundries in Coimbatore go on strike Print E-mail
Written by Arjun   
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Indefinite strike

COIMBATORE: A release from the Coimbatore Tiny and Small Foundry Owners’ Association states that small and tiny foundries here will stop production from October 22, seeking immediate measures from the Central and State Governments to control prices of the raw material. The deciscion was made at a meeting of the association held here on Wednesday. Pig iron, coke and scarp are the main raw materials used by these units and during the last three months, the prices of these materials had shot up tremendously.  The Institute of Indian Foundrymen, Coimbatore Chapter, Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association and the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association have extended their support to the proposed indefinite strike by the members of the Coimbatore Tiny and Small Foundry Owners’ Association. Members of the Tamilnadu Pumps and Spares Manufacturers’ Association had also decided to down shutters on October 22 in support of the indefinite strike by the small foundries here.

 Over 600 small and tiny foundries were operational here producing about 1,000 tonnes of castings a day, according to N. Balraj, the association president. The small-scale foundries employ nearly two lakh workers directly and generate almost an equal number of indirect employment.

 These foundries supply castings to the engineering units and pump manufacturing industries, many of which are also small-scale. Hence, the raw material price had hit these related industries too.

 The cost of raw materials used by the foundries had shot up during the last four months. The wholesale landing cost of pig iron was Rs. 20,300 a tonne in June this year and it is Rs. 25,000 now. The price of scarp was Rs. 16,000 a tonne in June and it is Rs. 19,500 a tonne now. The retail prices are nearly 15 per cent higher than the wholesale rates. Most of the small and tiny foundries procure their raw materials from the retail sellers.

 The Government should hold meetings with pig iron manufacturers and coke traders and take measures to bring down the prices, Balraj said. The associations also appealed to the Central Government to control the price of iron ore and help import of Chinese metrology coke. “We also request the Government to remove the import duty of five per cent on iron and steel scrap,” the release said.

 The production loss due to the proposed strike would be to the tune of nearly Rs. 7 crore a day. This would affect manufacturing in the related industries too and the loss could be higher, he said.
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