The Indian government should waive-off the custom duty on import of all types of non-ferrous metals scrap to help recyclers compete in the global market, said Sanjay Mehta, president of Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI).
Mehta demanded the early implementation of ‘Non-Ferrous Metal Scrap Recycling Policy’ of Ministry of Mines, ‘National Material Recycling Policy’ of Niti Aayog, and the ‘End of Life’ vehicle policy of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to ensure proper functioning of the recycling industry. Mehta said this during a webinar series on International Conference on Non-Ferrous-Metals 2020.
He further expressed the need for equal participation of the secondary recyclers in the policy-making, so that they can represent their issues and negate the false propaganda by primary producers regarding the handling of non-ferrous metal scrap.
Scrap is properly checked by Customs Dept at ports and inspection is done at loading ports by government-approved inspection companies, he added.
MRAI represents more than 10,000 metal recycling industries of which 3,500 are MSME aluminium recycling units, collectively recycling almost 1.25mn mt aluminium scrap in India with an investment of around Rs.200bn ($2.72bn) which provides direct employment to 500,000 workers.
Unlike primary producers’ propaganda, secondary metal (aluminium and copper) products are not overlapping with primary metal producers and not hurting the primary manufacturer’s cost of production, he said.
The secondary metal producers largely rely on imported scrap as their basic raw material due to non-availability of quality segregated scrap in the domestic market.
The quality of aluminium scrap imported almost entirely from developed countries is much better than the domestic scrap due to high-quality adherence in the finished products from which the scrap is generated, he informed.
Due to very low per capita consumption, the availability of domestic scrap is less compared to demand. It takes minimum 10 to 20 years for any metal product to come back to scrap yard after its end-of-life cycle and with increased use of aluminium and copper in the auto industry, it will take another 10 years for all these metals to come for recycling, Mehta said.
As primary aluminium is 20-30pc expensive than the scrap, it cannot be added in the recycling of aluminium. Cast aluminium scrap is recycled to provide fresh castings (mainly for auto). This process ensures the retention of the alloying cost incurred earlier. The same is impossible in the case of primary aluminium usage.
Moreover, the lack of quality adherence in the case of smaller manufacturers leads to inferior quality of aluminium scrap. He demanded banning he imports of semi-finished and finished goods like aluminium foil, ingots, and aluminium rods, and only those alloys of semi-finished/finished goods and raw material that is not available completely in India should be allowed to be imported.