Kolkata, Sep 29 (PTI) Refractory industry Saturday said import has jumped sharply by 40 per cent to Rs 2,529 crore in 2017-18 against that of Rs 1804 crore registered in FY’17. Also Read - Coronavirus in India: Another COVID-19 Patient Dies in Maharashtra, Death Toll in State Rises to 21 | Highlights

Lack of raw material is one of the major cause for rise in imports, Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA) chairman Hakimuddin Ali said at the AGM here. Also Read - India to be Under Lockdown For 21 Days, Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Spike to 536

“The domestic refractory makers has to import raw materials. Even finished refractory products are being imported as at times import is cheaper than manufacturing in India,” Ali said. Also Read - COVID-19 LIVE: Next 3-4 Weeks Are Crucial, PM Modi Tells State CMs | Top Developments

“We are urging the government to look into the problems of duty structure on raw material and finished refractories,” he said.

The IRMA also requested the government to take steps to push refractories grade bauxite and manganese to save the Rs 6500 crore industry.

Cost pressure of raw material of the industry is also a major problem as it has gone up by 25-40 per cent in the last one and half years.

Steel sector is the major consumer of refractories and as it consumes 75 per cent of their production.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.