Industries in Coimbatore urged to explore ways to be self-reliant in raw materials

September 14, 2022 07:05 pm | Updated September 16, 2022 08:19 am IST


Air Commodore K.A.A. Sanjeeb, Air Officer Commanding, 5 BRD Air Force, Sulur, at a stall at Raw Mat India 2022 in Coimbatore Wednesday.

Air Commodore K.A.A. Sanjeeb, Air Officer Commanding, 5 BRD Air Force, Sulur, at a stall at Raw Mat India 2022 in Coimbatore Wednesday. | Photo Credit: S. Siva Saravanan

COIMBATOREIndustries in Coimbatore should look at how India can become self-reliant in availability of military grade raw materials and rare earth elements, Air Commodore K.A.A. Sanjeeb, Air Officer Commanding, 5 BRD Air Force, Sulur, said here on Wednesday.

Inaugurating a three-day exhibition of raw materials (Raw Mat India 2022), he said industries should “invest in research and development, upgrade manufacturing infrastructure, and become truly self-reliant.” While government is taking several measures to enhance participation of MSMEs in the Defence sector, there is a challenge in identifying military grade raw materials in the country and reduce imports. A study group in Ministry of Defence report says there is a need to identify indigenous raw material and certify them, identify sources for strategic raw materials, and identify the actual requirements for these.

Another challenging area is rare earth elements, for which China is the largest holder of resources. It has several applications. One way is to recover and recycle these elements from e-wastes used in the Defence. Another is to invest in research and development related to these elements, he said.

Business Head of CRM Sales - JSW Steel Saji Samuel said the prices of steel has come down and hit the bottom. The prices are expected to stabilise or inch up slightly from this level. Coimbatore, a major hub for textiles and pumpsets, should look at ways industries can reduce use of imported products. The MSMEs should also explore ways to reduce the production cost.

According to C.B. Senthil Kumar, who is the chairman of the event at Codissia Trade Fair Complex, the second edition of the fair has 92 exhibitors, displaying materials and products of steel, copper, aluminium, packaging materials, etc. The expo will benefit textiles, engineering, agriculture, aviation, electrical and electronics, Defence, and automobile sectors. It also has several special materials that are used by the Defence sector.

V. Thirugnanam, president of Codissia, said raw materials are essential for the growth of MSMEs. Coimbatore district has nearly a lakh MSMEs and the units are hit by steep hike in raw material prices. With high prices, several industries have scaled down consumption of raw materials and production.

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