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‘Need to incentivize copper production’


NEW DELHI : A parliamentary panel has flagged the need for incentivizing domestic capacity addition of copper metal, crucial to achieving India’s net zero target by 2070 as an important component of electrical vehicles.

“In view of targeted per capita consumption in India is expected to increase from the current level of 0.6 kg to one kg in the coming years, the committee feel that the ministry of mines should pursue with the ministry of finance and the ministry of commerce to give more incentives to the domestic copper industries so that more and more capacity addition projects are commissioned under ‘Make in India’ campaign,” said the standing committee report on ‘development of aluminium and copper industry’ submitted in Parliament recently.

The committee on coal, mines and steel, headed by BJP MP Rakesh Singh, said that average global per capita consumption of the metal currently stands at around 3.2 kg. India’s total consumption of refined copper in 2020 was around 660,000 tonnes.Incidentally, copper production in the country has been declining since Sterlite’s 400,000 tonnes-per-annum smelter in Tamil Nadu stopped production in May 2008. As a result, India became a net importer of the metal.

In 2017-18, with 381,000 tonnes of exports and 47,000 tonnes imports, India was a net exporter of refined copper, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The reverse happened the next year when its imports were 96,000 tonnes and exports 50,000 tonnes. The trend has continued till date. The growing reliance on imports is also a drain on India’s forex reserves and stoking inflation.



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