MSME exporters seek Modi’s intervention on rising steel prices

Engineering exporters in the MSME segment have sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention on rising steel prices, stating that the industry needs the alloy and other inputs at affordable rates so that export competitiveness of value-added products is maintained in the global markets. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Ludhiana Hand Tools Association president S. C. Ralhan said that many of the competing countries, particularly China, provide support to manufacturing units by providing steel and other inputs at much reasonable prices to boost the competitiveness of the engineering sector in the global markets.

He said that India is gradually losing out its markets to China in the value-added segment of exports and the recent growth visible in exports is largely on account of a hike in the prices of metal and commodities.        

A sharp decline is seen in the export trends of finished engineering goods, he said.

“In the given situation, the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) industry needs to be provided steel at reasonable prices so that the export competitiveness of value-added products is maintained,” Ralhan said in his letter. 

He cautioned that if the prices would not come under control, a large number of manufacturers would be out of business and that could result in loss of employment.

He suggested the government consider setting up a raw material bank for MSMEs to provide steel and other key inputs to them by extending some kind of subsidy.

Meanwhile, India’s diamond exports are expected to shimmer past the $20-billion  mark this fiscal, with demand rebounding after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Crisil Ratings has said.

Revenue from exports reached $16.4 billion last fiscal, a decline of 12 per cent — well below the plunge expected when the world went into unprecedented lockdowns. But as nations recovered well in the second half, the fall in exports was halted, an analysis of 70 diamantaires rated by Crisil — accounting for a third of industry’s total revenue —  shows.

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