INFMMA urges Centre to resume Sterlite plant

By PTI Published on Aug 04, 2018 04:59 PM IST

New Delhi:  Industry body Non-Ferrous Metal Manufacturers Association (INFMMA) today urged the Centre to take steps for resumption of operations at Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin, Tamilnadu.

In this regard, members INFMMA have also submitted a memorandum with the Mines Ministry and NITI Aayog, the association said in a statement. "We have requested the Mines Ministry and NITI Aayog to restart the copper smelter. Due to the closure of that smelter, we believe that imports of copper would go up," INFMMA President DK Jain said in the statement.

There is already shortage of copper in the market, and if the stakeholders import it to keep their operations going they will have to buy it at a much higher price, it added.

The closure of a running unit has affected the medium and small players of the downstream and ancillary industry who use copper as raw material to produce products such as copper alloy sheets, strips, foils, tubes, pipes and rods, said the statement.

"We request the government to at least think about us. We are dependent on the smelter for copper to make items which are further used by other industries. Also think about those who are dependent on us for jobs. We are being made to pay the cost," Naseem Sheikh, another member of the organisation, said.

Billionaire Anil Agarwal-owned Vedanta unit is one of the three primary copper producers in the country. It has a market share of 35 per cent. The other two are Hindustan Copper Limited and Hindalco Industries Limited.

The Tamilnadu government in late May ordered permanent closure of the smelter after 13 people among protesters demanding its shutdown on environmental concerns were killed in police firing.

INFMMA is an association representing non-ferrous metal industry in India. The non-ferrous metal industry provides employment to more than 1 lakh people and serves  industries like electronics, automobile, etc.