All India Steel Bottle Association Calls for Action Against Influx of Sub-Standard Steel Flasks

AISBA Urges Government Intervention as Imports Surge, Threatening Domestic Industry and Quality Standards.

In a bid to safeguard the domestic steel bottle industry, the All India Steel Bottle Association (AISBA) has appealed to the government to promptly address the escalating imports of sub-standard and inexpensive steel vacuum flasks into India.

According to official data, imports of vacuum steel bottles, particularly from China and other nations, have witnessed a significant 35% surge from the fiscal year 2019-20 to 2022-23. Bharat Agarwal, Treasurer of AISBA, emphasized the urgent need for the government to refrain from extending import relaxations under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) order beyond January 14, 2024.

Bharat Agarwal highlighted the non-compliance of these imported products with BIS standards, emphasizing the adverse impact on local manufacturers who have collectively invested approximately Rs 1,500 crore in the Indian market. He stressed that the government’s non-extension of relaxation would provide relief to local manufacturers facing challenges from imports from China arriving in India at costs lower than their actual manufacturing expenses.

“We have also been unable to utilize our 100% capacity due to challenges from imports landing in India at lower than their actual manufacturing costs. We have an installed capacity of 1,90,000 pieces per day and we produce 38,000 pieces per day, which is 20% of the rated capacity,” Agarwal stated. AISBA believes that government intervention will not only assist domestic players in expanding their capacity annually but will also create 25,000 job opportunities within six months.

At present, the industry employs around 9,500 individuals. Bharat Agarwal further mentioned plans to explore offshore markets in countries like Canada, Russia, and Brazil. He highlighted the superiority of Indian-made bottles, emphasizing that they are of BIS-approved 304 grade, in contrast to the 204-grade imported steel bottles, and can maintain water temperature stability for up to 12-18 hours.

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