New Delhi: Reduction of import duty on copper scrap from 5% to 2.5% announced in Union Budget 2021-22 to boost recycling of copper in the country. This will have social, environmental and economic benefits and also has employment generation potential.
Recycling of metal improves the resource efficiency as there is no loss of property. It is economically viable, energy efficient and environment friendly. Metal produced today is scrap for tomorrow and thus again becomes a resource. Reduction in import duty on copper scrap will promote recycling in the country as the basic raw materials will become economical.
Economic benefits: By utilizing copper scrap, domestic companies can improve competitiveness and profitability. Recycling based innovations can also give industries an edge in the export market. New industries can be created in the recycling sector with focus on innovative design and manufacturing from recycled material. Reduced import dependence for critical minerals will help to improve country’s trade balance and promote economic stability.
Social benefits: India’s mineral rich areas are under dense forests and inhabited by indigenous communities. Extraction of minerals affects local communities. Recycling would put fewer burdens on the need of extraction of minerals thereby offsetting some of the risks arising out of social conflicts.
Environmental benefits: Extraction activities often result in ecological, degradation. Reduced extraction pressures due to adoption of recycling willhelp to contain ecological degradation and pollution associated with mining.
Employment Generation Potential: Recycling and adoption of related innovative methods may altogether give rise to the need of setting up of new industries that can contribute significantly to employment generation. Innovation in recycling process and manufacturing has the potential to create highly skilled jobs benefitting domestic industries and developing potential for export market. This may further prompt global companies to locate efficient design and/or manufacturing units here leading to increased skilled / unskilled labour demand.