New Delhi: Assocham on Monday urged the government to remove anti-dumping duty on flexible slabstock polyol because domestic production is not enough to cater to local demand.

Flexible slabstock polyol, a polyether, forms polyurethane foams on reaction with catalysts and additives, which is then used in packaging, pillows, mattresses, transport seating, etc.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) claimed that trade barriers on flexible slabstock polyol were based on misrepresentation of facts by certain domestic manufacturers.

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“In India there is no dumping of flexible slabstock polyol. Besides domestic production is not enough to cater to local demand. As such there should be no safeguard duty imposed on import of flexible slabstock polyol from Thailand,” said Assocham in a statement issued here.

“Large parts of the demand for flexible slabstock polyol in India is being catered by imports of raw material due to non-availability of domestically manufactured polyol in sufficient quantity,” the statement said, citing Secretary General D.S. Rawat.

Import of raw material is critical for flexible polyurethane industry in the country, which otherwise would impact existence and growth of domestic industry and labour engaged in polyurethane foam manufacturing, Rawat said.

In its note to Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, Assocham said the domestic companies have not updated their technology and capacity to cater to demand in India, besides chemical industry needs material from improved and updated technology as available in international market to keep downstream industry rolling and competitive.

“Companies in India have been thrusting their inefficiency on downstream foaming industry by using protective mechanism of safeguard duty which has already started impacting local foam manufacturing companies as is evident from upward trend in import of foams driven by new compact packing technology,” the statement said.

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