Petition to Chief Minister Environment and Industries Ministers and Secretaries

July 12, 2018 – The Honourable Chief Minister,
Government of Tamil Nadu,
Chennai.

Respected Sir,

Subject: Stoppage of Sulphuric Acid supply from Sterlite Copper leading to either the closing down or increased costs for customers in Tamil Nadu

We, on behalf of customers of Sulphuric Acid across Tamil Nadu would like to bring to your esteemed notice the extreme negative impacts faced by the Sulphuric Acid markets due to the closure of our biggest supplier – Sterlite Copper. There are a total of 29 companies that have been directly affected and more than 150 companies have been indirectly affected due to the stoppage in acid supply from Sterlite Copper. A combined total of 10,596 employees across the 29 companies are dependent on Sterlite Copper for their livelihood and in the event of their closure all 10,596 employees and their families stand to lose. In fact, a couple of companies, Coimbatore Pioneer Fertilizers and Amrita Chemicals have already been forced to shut down due to no supply and are currently facing losses. This forced shut down has resulted in the loss of jobs and livelihoods of 350 employees across the two companies. Every other company is either purchasing acid at higher prices from open markets or are functioning on partial run mode, both of which are undesirable circumstances. These companies have a combined turnover of 24,345 crores which have either already been affected or face danger of being affected.

This increase in sulphuric acid prices is bound to have negative repercussions not only for the petitioning companies but also on consumer goods that use the acid as a raw material. The vested interests that certain groups have in the closure of Sterlite have not only negatively impacted the exchequer of our state but also caused a painful ripple effect on our companies leading to more losses than gains for the acid market as a whole.
In view of the extremely difficult situation that all our acid companies are in we humbly request you to review the closure of our supplier Sterlite Copper. In place of the extreme step of permanently closing down our biggest suppliers, we request you to instead probe the validity of the allegations levied and take the appropriate remedial measures. The allegations levied do not have sound scientific basis and are mostly outdated concerns that were already addressed and set right by Sterlite in the past. It is not in the best interests of our state and economy to completely shut down an industry because we stand to lose much more than we stand to gain as we have explained in the above petition.

We urge you to consider the plight of our companies and immediately take remedial measures to reopen Sterlite Copper and by doing so save our companies from large impending losses and further shut downs and in turn save our employees from loss of jobs and livelihood.

Thanking you
Yours faithfully,

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About the Author: Marcus Suban

Marcus is a reporter on the Political Capital team focusing on money in politics. Before joining Canadian Business Tribune, he worked as a researcher and writer for the Institute for Northern Studies at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay Ontario and as a freelance journalist in Toronto, having been published by over 20 outlets including CBC, the Center for Media and Democracy,The Huffington Post, Salon, Truthout and VICE.com.

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