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India is not allowed to liberalize tire imports through free trade agreements: ATMA

The domestic tire industry is a major employer, directly and indirectly supporting the livelihoods of more than five million people in production, distribution and distribution.

The domestic tire industry is a major employer, providing direct and indirect livelihoods to more than five million people in manufacturing, distribution and related services in India, which could be adversely affected if tire imports are liberalized through a free trade pact.

India has sufficient tire manufacturing capacity and imports should not be liberalized through free trade agreements through duty concessions, industry body Automotive Tire Manufacturers’ Association said on Monday.

Automotive tires are at the forefront of those sectors where domestic production capabilities can make imports redundant, the Automotive Tire Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA) told the Center.

This was in response to the government’s demand for feedback on sectors where India has the potential to be self-reliant so that upcoming FTAs ​​can be crafted while safeguarding the interests of the domestic industry, ATMA said in a statement. The trade association has pointed out that imports should not be liberalized through free trade agreements through duty concessions.

Also read: With improved highways, India needs global standard car tires: Nitin Gadkari

India’s domestic tire industry, one of the largest in the world, has an annual production of over 200 million units across categories including two-wheelers, passenger cars, commercial vehicles and off-road vehicles, it added.

Despite sufficient production capacity, over Rs 2,000 crore worth of tires were imported into the country in the first three quarters of FY24, an increase of 27 per cent over the same period in the previous year, ATMA said.

“In recent years, the tire sector has witnessed substantial investments, with leading manufacturers investing their money 35,000 crore for capacity expansion, technology upgrades and research and development. With the new capacity coming on stream, it is important to meet the demand of domestic production instead of importing tyres,” said ATMA chairman Arnab Banerjee.

He further said that the domestic tire industry today is focused on meeting all the requirements of domestic and international automotive OEMs (original equipment makers) through design, development and ensuring regular supply of tires for all categories and types vehicles produced in the country.

“The industry is ahead of the demand curve in the production of all types of tires. Once a vehicle is conceived, tire manufacturers are done assembling it. As a result, automotive OEMs do not import tires and the domestic tire industry is compliant,” Banerjee added.

ATMA said the domestic tire industry is a major employer, providing livelihoods to more than five million people employed directly and indirectly in manufacturing, distribution and related services.

“Prioritizing domestic tire production is also essential as the livelihoods of more than 10 million rubber farmers in the country depend on the tire industry that consumes more than 70 percent of domestic natural rubber,” the report said.

By boosting domestic manufacturing and leveraging technological advances, India can strengthen its position as a global leader in the tire industry while generating employment, promoting sustainability and boosting economic growth. ATMA claimed.

First publication date: May 21, 2024 06:25 IST