Ferro alloy units hit hard

CHENNAI, MARCH 11. Ferro alloy producers are an upset lot. They feel that the reduction in the customs duty in successive budgets will "flood the country with imports and adversely affect the industry."

In a release, the Indian Ferro Alloy Producers' Association said the duty reduction in the latest budget would hit Orissa, West Bengal and Chattisgarh hardest since most ferro alloy units were located in these States. The strengthening of the rupee vis-�-vis dollar would only trigger import of these products in huge volumes, it added.

The association pointed out that the import duty had come down by 15 percentage points in the last 13 months. First, the outgoing NDA Government brought it down from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.

Subsequently, the UPA government reduced it to 15 per cent in June. The latest budget had slashed it further to 10 per cent. The power-intensive ferro alloy units had seen inputs prices, especially that of manganese ore, rise by about 150 per cent since last year.