THE All India Mink Blanket Manufacturers Association has alleged that under invoicing of imports and manipulative tactics has put the domestic mink blanket industry in serious trouble.
Clandestine imports of mink blankets from China are being dumped across the country, which is damaging the domestic and export market of mink blanket manufacturers. With the approaching winter and festive season (peak season for mink blanket units), the association has demanded for strict vigilant action against the exporters to protect the local industries in the country. “Under-invoicing is widely prevalent across the country and we are finalising the petition to be given to the ministry of commerce and finance. Simultaneously, we are also meeting the director, revenue intelligence, to put an immediate stop in import of blankets,’’ said association vice-president Ramesh Jagota.
Policing needs to be strengthened so that the government does not lose any revenue and the local industry doesn’t suffer, said Mr Jagota who is also the managing director of Young Men Woolen Mills, Ludhiana. Largely concentrated in northern India, mink blankets units are present across Ludhiana, Amritsar, Panipat and Moradabad. As per data available, the total manufacturing capacity of the units in India is 50 lakh mink blankets per year, with the demand picking up during winter and festive season.
“We are not afraid of competition from China as our quality and price are quite competitive to them but the import hurts us as blatant under-invoicing for goods imported from China are going on unabated to save custom duty and other charges. The result is that they turn out to be cheaper and are creating unnecessary competition in the market,” said D K Gupta, whose Moradabad-based unit has been operational since 1973. According to industry sources, the scenario has reached a point where the cost of raw material for the yarn by the Chinese is Rs 155 per kg compared to Rs 472 per kg of available yarn in India. Currently, mink blankets attracts attract 25% duty. Giving details on the manufacturing cost, an industry person said that a 3 kg blanket costs Rs 751. Inclusive of all expenses (like cost of raw material, knitting, chemicals, electricity, labour, accessories and packaging), the cost come to about Rs 698.
Compared to it, a Chinese mink blanket in New Delhi, Calcutta and even Bombay is being sold from Rs 300 onward. “The unhealthy competition is an alarming situation and can damage the Indian market, export to the international market and total closure of the mink blanket industry in India,” said association executive director Ashok Sethi.