Many have been forced to shut down as profits dip

A. Selvaraj, a small-time plastic manufacturer in the city, was thriving on a monthly income of Rs. 25,000. However, in the last few weeks, he has been borrowing funds from his friends to meet his unit and family expenses as there has been a 30 per cent increase in the raw material cost.

Unable to withstand the rise in raw material prices and failure to service loans, Mr. Selvaraj and several thousands of plastic manufacturers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were forced to shut down their units.

Representatives of over 8,000 registered plastic units and 10,000 unregistered units met under the banner of Tamil Nadu, Pondy Plastic Manufacturers & Merchants Association and urged the Central and State governments to bail them out, failing which they will hold peaceful demonstrations.

Association president G. Sankaran, who owns three units in the city, said most of the units had started posting losses, as 80 per cent of the cost was meant for procuring raw materials and they had to borrow money to pay salary and administrative expenses.

The association members have called upon the Centre to remove the 7.5 per cent Customs duty on plastic raw materials and the Special Additional Duty of 4 per cent; the Central government should appoint a regulatory commission to check the arbitrary increase in raw material prices and issue an order to all plastic raw material units not to resort to price hike in an arbitrary fashion.