K'taka: Foundry wants to dismantle 'pig iron cartel'

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Bangalore, Mar 21: The foundry industry in Karnataka today demanded the Union Government to bring back regulation on the prices of pig iron and 'dismantle' the private pig iron 'cartel.' Speaking to newspersons here, Karnataka Chapter of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen Chairman Babu Satyan said the private pig iron suppliers had hiked the price of the main raw material of the foundry industry by nearly 50 per cent to Rs 28,500 per tonne in the last one year hitting the industry hard.

Compounding the problems, the prices of coke had also shot up from just Rs 17,000 to Rs 27,500 during the last 12 months.

''This has led to the foundry industry, the mother of all manufacturing industries, close shop in Karnataka. After pricing regulation was given a goodbye due to liberalisation, private sector rule the prices of pig iron with the 'private cartel' revising the prices every week,'' he alleged. The IIF wanted the regulatory mechanism to be brought back in pig iron supply. ''Let SAIL take up the supply of the raw material again.

Otherwise this will lead to the death of foundry industry in India affecting millions of families depending on it,'' he said. Karnataka Foundry Association President V Ramaswamy said the problem started after the iron ore price shot up due to international demand.

''From 15 US Dollar per tone a few years ago, iron ore is now exported at 150 USD.This has hit the foundry industry as its input costs, too, have shot up correspondingly.

''Only iron ore exporters are making all the profits. The government is virtually ignoring the indigenous foundry industry,'' he claimed.

UNI

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