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Dry cell manufacturers urge government to reduce prices of zinc

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) Indian dry cell manufacturers today sought Government support for reduction in duties and taxes to neutralise the adverse impact of rising zinc prices which have increased by over 138 per cent in the past one year.

Voicing concern for the industry, Mr S R Jiwarajka, President, Association of Indian Dry Cell Manufacturers (AIDCM) told reporters here that ''the industry has always maintained battery prices keeping in mind rural consumers as 60 per cent of batter consumption comes from rural India. Dry batteries are alternate and portable sources of energy for lighting, entertain, safety and security.'' He said dry cell manufacturers procure zinc both from local and international sources, India being a net importer. Domestic manufacturers are pricing this metal at prevailing LME prices, which includes premium (on account of ocean freight etc) customs duties and exchange rate.

Zinc price on the London Metal Exchange (LME) in the past one year has soared from 1300 US dollar in April 2005 to 3100 dollars in April 2006. Major manufacturers who already increased the prices last financial year are now making further hikes to offset this unprecedented increase, Mr Jiwarajka said.

Mr Deepak Khaitan, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Evereay Industries India Ltd, said, ''Due to zinc being at record highs, as in case of any other industry facing similar unprecedented situation, we will continue to increase prices to offset adverse cost impacts.'' The industry urged the Government to immediately look into the matter and take appropriate steps to contain the rising prices of zinc to protect the mass consumption item from frequent price increases.


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