The 10,000 Crore Metal Packaging Industry of India which is already facing dark times is now in a major dilemma and stands directionless as the Ministry of Steel remains silent on Quality Control Order as the extension of the implementation of Quality Control Order till 17 July, 2021 has ended.
Production is on hold, there is scarcity of raw material which is acting as a major hindrance to bridge the demand supply gap. Also as there is a shortage in domestic production therefore the industry cannot import. Steel and Steel Products QCO will restrict the supply of input materials to crucial industries such as Tin Can Making industry.
In fact any move to ban imports of such material will result in production shortage, significant loss of job opportunities especially in the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector as well as lead to increase in defaults to banks.
Also, there would be an exorbitant increase of prices of packaging material specially Pharma, food & beverages. Another setback would be shutting down small units and ultimately job losses.
And this is despite the repetitive representation and meetings with concerned ministries and departments. Even the new steel minister had given assurance to address the grievance. Yet there seems to be no relief for Industry which is largely operating under the MSME sector.
This industry which is largely dependent upon the import of tinplate/ tin free steel to meet demand supply gap from various countries is under tremendous pressure with the shortage of raw material and the prices have escalated more than 60% already with an indication that it is likely to increase further. Apart from prices another major issue of concern is availability of material as domestic is not geared up to meet domestic demand.
Considering the market is already favouring the industry in terms of the demand but now much is dependent on government policies as soon as it becomes favorable it will surely pin a promising future for the Indian metal packaging industry. The situation is likely to lead to substantial reduction in the capacity of the metal packaging industry mainly due to restrictions in supply of tinplate/tin free steel and its products. Even applications of intending producers/exporters of tinplate etc are kept pending with BIS due to COVID restrictions. Whole industry is quite perturbed over the silence of the Ministry of Steel in this regard.