In October 2018, the SC imposed a limit on the import of RPC and allowed the import of 1.4 million MT of RPC per year by the calcining industry.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to make a swift decision within 10 days of receiving their applications on the allocation of imported crude petroleum coke (RPC) to all eligible calciners for 2022-23, taking into account the precarious situation in which the sector finds itself.

In October 2018, the SC imposed a limit on the import of RPC and allowed the import of 1.4 million MT of RPC per year by the calcining industry. It had allowed the domestic aluminum industry to use up to 0.5 million tons of imported calcined petroleum coke (CPC) per year. Since then, the DGFT has allocated 1.4 million tons of RPC quota to eligible calciners based on their production capacity.

A bank headed by Justice LN Rao has requested a response from the DGFT to various requests, including one from Sanvira Industries. The applications have requested a refund of the quota of non-imported RPC from FY 2020-21, amounting to 2,13,229 tons, to calciners that surrendered their respective quotas in 2020-21 and/or that were sanctioned in FY22 for size of the amount surrendered or penalized. They want such calcinators to be allowed to import RPC against such quota within three months.

Rain CII Carbon (Vizag), through its senior advisor AM Singvi, has also asked the SC to instruct DGFT to allocate the remaining/non-imported RPC to all eligible calciners on a pro rata basis in 2021-22 on based on factory capacity and also forward the remaining/unimported quantum of RPC from 2020-21 to 2021-22. It said that CPC is an essential raw material in the anodes needed during the electrolytic process of aluminum production. The company said the unavailability of RPC import quotas had led to a forced closure of its plant in Visakhapatnam.

Senior counsel KV Vishwanathan, who appeared before Sanvira, opposed Rain CII’s plea, saying Rain cannot be given more RPC quota than it qualifies for at the expense of other calciners who had surrendered the unimported quota or for which they were sanctioned by the DGFT in FY22. It sought a refund of the unimported/unused RPC quota that the calcinators had surrendered or had been penalized for in FY22.

Senior counsel and amicus curia ADN Rao told the bank that DGFT had to provide details about the companies that had surrendered their respective quotas and the reasons for their surrender. Additional Solicitor General Ashwarya Bhatti said DGFT will submit a status report in this regard. She argued that it would not be possible to allocate the unused quota because the government has taken a decision against it.

Last July, the SC had allowed imports of RPC only to the cement, lime kiln, calcium carbide and gasification industries.

This post Accelerated decision on raw petroleum coke allocation, Supreme Court tells DGFT

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