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India in ‘confusion’ over scrap

India – The Indian Ministry of Steel’s Joint Plant Committee (JPC) is conducting an in-depth study focusing on all forms of domestically-marketed scrap as well as imports. Spurred by arguments about reliance on imported material, the JPC has also updated the terms of reference for the recycling sector – with devastating consequences, many have warned.

According to the ministry, more emphasis will be put on studying trends, patterns and import/export volumes. The impact of scrap-related policy measures on imports and exports per country will also be examined closely.

India’s metals recycling industry is generally agreed that the lack of a proper understanding of what constitutes scrap has become the bane of the sector. And the newly-introduced Steel and Steel Products Quality Control Order is said to be a ‘prime example’ of the ‘prevailing confusion’ within authority circles.

‘Compulsory scrapping’

The Confederation of Indian Steel Producers Association (CISPA), together with various other trade representatives, has written to the government asking for a repeal of the steel ministry decree. Once officially implemented, the order will lead to ‘enormous wastage through compulsory scrapping’ of non-Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) accredited steel or commercial-grade steel, CISPA underlines.

As the order demands every foreign company to register with the BIS and pay 1% of the cost of imports towards inspection by BIS-appointed officials, India’s owners of cold rolled steel mills fear that the quality body will form a ‘big barrier to imports’.

The order stipulates: ‘No person shall by himself or through any other person on his behalf manufacture or store for sale or distribute any steel products specified in the schedule which do not conform to the specified standards and do not bear the standard mark of the BIS.’

Two categories

Pravin Nagarsheth, president of the Iron Steel Scrap & Shipbreakers Association of India, asserts in a letter: ‘Internationally, there is only one type of melting scrap. But in developing countries, the scrap is segregated into two categories: melting scrap and re-rollable scrap. Re-rollable scrap, as it is old and used, cannot be classified as to fall under any standard.’

He concluded: ‘Unless appropriate amendments are made, this order will lead to the closure of the ship recycling industry in the country.’

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