Staff Reporter

Government urged to control escalation of raw material prices

MADURAI: Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association (TANSTIA) has urged the government not to introduce new laws hastily without holding wide consultations with the stakeholders.

Its president D. Gandhi Kumar told journalists here on Wednesday that the Centre was bringing in a slew of legislations and amendments at a hasty speed to meet its obligations to multilateral bodies.

He said that the trade body held discussions with officials recently on four World Trade Organisation agreements, namely non-agricultural market access (NAMA), fisheries, services and agriculture.

It was clear that tremendous challenges lay in the future owing to globalisation as duties on imports could be reduced drastically in a decade.

“If the laws are hastily changed, it will lead to widespread economic problems and huge job losses in the country.” As complicated these laws were, many traders and entrepreneurs were completely unaware of such laws, he said.

Raw materials

The prices of raw materials and commodities were also witnessing extreme volatility in the last two years. This was mainly due to the Centre removing the price control norms about two years ago, Mr. Gandhi Kumar said.

He pointed that materials such as steels, copper and aluminium were being supplied only by a handful of public sector and private companies. He alleged that they were increasing the prices despite no escalation in their raw material or operating costs.

Interest rates

K. Gopalakrishnan, TANSTIA secretary, said that while the government was bringing in global norms and standards in many areas, it was refusing to bring down the credit interest rates to the 2 to 4 per cent levels in countries such as China and South Korea.

To create awareness of laws and the subsidies and schemes available for micro, small and medium enterprises, TANSTIA was holding meetings in many small towns, he said. The TANSTIA office-bearers were here to participate in its executive committee meeting.

N. Somasundaram, president, Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association, spoke.