Around 6,000 Indian paper and metal recycling businesses are at risk of going bust, according to the Materials Recycling Association of India (MRAI).
The trade association said that the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) face financial difficulty due to shipping lines, container freight stations and inland container depots failing to follow Indian Government guidelines that demurrage charges should be waived on boxes that are stuck at these facilities.
MRAI recently warned that these facilities were contravening the guidelines on demurrage charges that were issued by the Ministry of Shipping.
But it has now escalated the issue by warning of the bankruptcies and is also seeking the support of Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi to help resolve the situation.
It estimated that 250,000 containers containing metals and paper are stuck at ports and subject to the charges.
MRAI president Sanjay Mehta said: “Whereas the 6,000-odd MSME units in the recycling segment from metal and paper are adhering to Government order to give salaries to their employees who are mainly from the weaker section of the society, here are foreign shipping lines and their associates who do not even listen to Ministry of Shipping guidelines.”
Indian Prime Minister Modi has indicated that some lockdown measures may be eased after this week, but what that will mean for import of Indian paper and metal recycled materials isn’t yet clear.