New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) The Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA) has asked the government to bring refractory raw materials supply chain under the Essential Services Maintenance Act and allow the refractory makers to function uninterruptedly amid the nationwide lockdown.
Refractory refers to ceramic materials which provide resistance from thermal, mechanical and chemical attack.
In a statement, the IRMA noted that customers of refractory makers in steel, thermal power, petrochemical, non-ferrous metals and paper industries are directly responsible for supplying the primary materials used to produce essential items such as hospital beds, ambulances, respirators, face masks, medicines and other medical devices also every day need of electricity and petrochemicals.
Their production processes cannot continue without refractories, even in the short term, it said.
“The refractory fraternity would like to bring to the government’s notice that refractory and refractory raw materials supply chain should be brought under Essential Services Maintenance Act 1981 and allowed to function uninterruptedly because they are essential inputs for thermally intensive industries like iron and steel, thermal power plants, petrochemical plants, cement, non-ferrous metals and glass,” said the statement.
Parmod Sagar, Chairman, IRMA said: “In the context of COVID-19, we the refractory makers in India are facing a unique challenge of maintaining supply line and services to our customers, which they would like to run following all health safety and health guidelines. They are fully geared up to accept the challenge and serve the country in its hour of need.”
Refractory makers must continuously produce and service refractories because they are critical components in almost all products, supply chains, Sagar said.
“At the same time, our top priority is, and always has been, the safety and well-being of our industry employees and the communities in which they operate. Needless to mention we are already complying with all pre-requisites that the government has put in place to ensure safety of people and prevention of further spread of COVID-19 infection.” he added.
The apex body of refractory makers has already represented to Union Steel Ministries to bring the refractory and refractory raw materials industry under the ambit of Essential Services Maintenance act, 1981 and is awaiting a favorable response from the concerned authorities.