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MSME body urges govt to allow import of all steel materials

The All India Council of Association (AICA) of MSMEs has urged the government to allow import of all steel materials based on cost and quality requirements and also ban export of iron ore and steel products.

In a representation to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the umbrella body for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), AICA also sought immediate intervention of the Prime Minister on rising prices of raw materials such as steel, iron ore, aluminium, copper, plastics and paper.

“Government should allow import of all steel materials based on cost and quality requirements at a nil import duty (no anti-dumping) and also ban export of iron ore and steel products. It may be noted that better GDP growth can be realised if value-added products are exported rather than raw materials. This will generate employment too,” AICA said in a statement.

''The steep hike in price of raw materials across all sectors, despite low consumption, and subsequent drop in the production by MSMEs is directly leading to loss of employment,'' it added.

It further said that the Public Sector Enterprises must be urged to accept cancellation of orders from MSMEs with no penalty/black listing as steel price increase is a Force Majeure event outside the control of the MSMEs.

AICA also said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST)-based funding is needed for all MSMEs at very marginal rates which will encourage MSMEs to purchase raw materials.

As many as 170 industry associations have joined hands to form the All India Council of Association of MSMEs in order to deal with issues of the sector hit hard by the pandemic.