The refractory industry supports the steel and cement industries (Representational image)
: The Indian refractory industry, which is the backbone of the steel and cement industries, looks forward to positive announcements for refractories industry in the Union Budget 2018. Sameer Nagpal, head, advocacy, Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA), says "We look forward to government addressing the duty structure by making inputs cheaper in comparison to finished products which will catalyse manufacturing in India. This will be a big push to the government's Make in India program."
Currently poised at around Rs 6,500 crore annually, the Indian refractory industry is important not in turnover but its critical function to support the steel and cement industries. Not a single tonne of steel, cement or glass can be produced without refractories. The Indian refractory industry today stands at a point of inflexion where on one side it is encouraged by an expected steep rise in demand due to increase in the steel and cement industry, and on the other side it faces the challenge from cheap imports coming from China and disrupting the Indian market.
In this scenario, it's the need of the hour to support the Indian refractory industry by providing necessary policy intervention in the Union Budget 2018 to enable this industry to scale new heights and benefit from the growing demand in Indian market.
IRMA has had several consultations among its members over the ongoing issues of raw material availability in India and how incentivizing import of raw material will act as a major fillip to Make in India aspirations of this industry. It looks forward to some positive steps in this direction in the forthcoming budget.