Copper dependant small scale industries in severe crisis after closure of Sterlite copper plant

Small-scale industries which are dependent on the supply of copper for their operations are undergoing a severe crisis, following the closure of Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu, Hindu Business Line has reported.

According to the report, about 30 per cent of the workforce employed by electrical and electronic equipment manufacturing units face termination, owing to the shortage of copper. It is believed that Sterlite used to contribute to the supply of about 30 per cent of these industries’ copper demand.

As per Hemanth Mehta, who is the Treasurer of Copper Consumers Association, South India which represents about 75 units employing 20,000 people – they are in a severe crisis due to the plant’s closure as alternative sources of copper are two expensive.

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He also claimed that the copper prices too have increased by about 10 per cent following the closure, which is a big amount for small units. Besides this, he also stated that the clients won’t be bearing the increased cost and it isn’t possible to import copper at such a short notice.

These fears have also been echoed by the Winding Wires Manufacturers’ Association of India, whose affiliated units were dependent on Sterlite copper for 50 per cent of their copper requirement.

As per a New Indian Express report, the now-closed Sterlite plant used to cater to about 40 per cent of the nation’s total copper demand.

We had reported that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterlite – P. Ramnath estimated that about 30,000 direct and indirect jobs are on the line following the plant’s closure due to violent protests. He also claimed that besides employees, India Economy as a whole would suffer owing to the shutdown as the country’s annual import bill would rise by $2 billion.

As reported by Swarajya, there are already calls made by Tuticorin villagers to reopen the plant who have praised it for supporting their livelihood, and for even helping them to meet their educational and healthcare needs.

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