In a meeting with Senior officials of Ministry of Steel, Metal Container Manufacturers Association (MCMA) raised concerns which are gravely influencing the existence of metal/tin packaging because of steel and steel products quality control order 2020 effective from 17th April, 2021.

President Sanjay Bhatia informed the senior officials regarding unreasonable hike in Tinplate prices to the extent of 20% by local producers, tension of further increment, non-supply of material, blocking of imports through non-tariff barriers such as Quality Control Orders (QCO), etc.

Local producers Tin Plate company (Tata enterprises) and JSW are virtually rationing supplies to industry along with excessive hike in price is destroying the existence of tin can manufacturing industry. Being aware of the implementation of QCO w.e.f. April 17, and lead time needed to produce and supply to India, foreign mills are not agreeing upon orders to deliver material to Indian can makers. Consequently, Indian can makers are facing difficulties because of the non-availability of material. President Bhatia urged Ministry of steel to right away step in either by removing QCO or till the time same is done, date of implementation may be postponed to sometime in March 2022.

Due to COVID and travel limitations, applications for registration of BIS are put on hold and the same are unlikely to be processed in the foreseeable future in any case. Also, the registration process and then final supply of material is a lengthy process and will take a minimum of 10-12 months.

Bhatia underscored how can making industry supported the Government in supply of packaging material to food, Pharmaceuticals, edible oil sectors during the most hard situations of coronavirus pandemic. Cans were delivered for packing sanitizers, disinfectants which were principally needed during COVID-19 times.

Industry relies upon the import of components such as Easy open ends, Peel offs, cones and domes for Aerosol Cans. Supplies of such components are being limited because of impractical conditions foisted in QCO. MCMA has advised withdrawing steel products from the scope of QCO so that industry carries on supplying Cans to most vital segments such as processed food, edible oil, Pharmaceuticals and for packing of sanitizers, etc.

Ministry has promised to look in to real hardships faced by Can making industry which is concentrated majorly in MSME sector. In addition to can making, the sector is also involved in manufacture of products from tin plate which includes cycle parts, file clips, geometry boxes, lanterns, stamp pads, etc. These products are of significant use in schools, offices and rural areas and no material is available because of the imposition of QCO.

“MCMA has suggested the Ministry to remove QCO, alternatively to extend up till March 2022, permit equivalent ISO certified material, withdraw steel products from the scope and make sure that tinplate/ tin free steel is being supplied, vital inputs to can making industry so that industry can flourish and continues to serve the nation,” added Bhatia.

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