Foundry industry seeks govt support to contribute to ‘Make in India’

Facing skilled manpower shortage and lack of technology upgradation to compete with China, the foundry industry in India has sought Centre’s support to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.

“Foundry industry is the mother of all industries. Growth in foundry sector over the last five years has remained stagnant because of the various problems faced by the industry. We can play an important role in achieving ‘Make in India’ campaign. But, for that we need to address some issues, which is not possible without government intervention,” said Jagat Shah, member, Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF) and managing director, Inductotherm India Pvt. Ltd.

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To address the challenges of the foundry industry, Centre has notified formation of Foundry Development Council, chaired by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) secretary and other stakeholders.

“Scarcity of skilled manpower is among the current major challenges faced by the industry. Gap between actual requirement and availability is about 15 per cent. To meet these requirements, IIF has proposed setting up of training institutes near foundry clusters across the country,” said Reena Bhagwati, joint managing director of Bhagwati Autocast Ltd.

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At present, there is only one training institute – National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT)-  in Ranchi, which trains people for foundry industry. IIF and council has sought about Rs 300 crore to set up two such modern training centres in west and south India.

Shah said, “Many foundry players want to upgrade their units but as it is expensive, small units cannot afford it and so we have requested the government to provide fund for the same.”

The council also discussed this in its first meeting held on June 2 this year and urged the government to introduce a scheme on the lines of Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) to promote technology upgradation in foundry sector. The industry requires support to the tune of Rs 500 crore from the government for technology upgradation.

There are nearly 5,000 foundries across the country largely in MSME sector in 17 foundry clusters employing over 2 million people. The foundry industry currently produces about 10 million tonnes of cast components in ferrous and non-ferrous category as per various international standards.

The sector’s annual turnover is nearly $18 billion at current production rates. It is estimated that the demand will grow threefold in the next 10 years, which will throw open new opportunities and challenges too.


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