(Quantity in thousand tonne)
Name of the Country 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 (April - September)
Russia 257.69 212.02 208.69 100.56
Kazakhstan 73.52 92.28 63.49 27.14
Brazil 61.79 49.22 37.28 33.66
Republic of China 2.78 2.08 1.00 0.54
Other Countries 0.69 0.06 0.11 0.74
Grand Total 396.47 355.66 310.57 162.74
(Source: Indian Bureau of Mines, DGCI&S)
It can be seen from the table that there is continuous decline in import of asbestos during the period of 2014-15 to 2017-18 (April-September).
Total asbestos import from Russia, Kazakhstan, Brazil, China and other countries dropped to 310,570 tonnes in 2016-17 from 396,470 tonne in 2014-15 and 355,660 tonnes in 2015-16.
The minister said that during April-September of the ongoing fiscal, India imported just 162,740 tonnes of asbestos.
With regard to question regarding whether the Government proposes to curb imports of deadly material of asbestos, the minister said "Information in this regard is not held in Ministry of Mines since the import/export of minerals is regulated through EXIM policy of Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry."
i. As per the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948 and rules framed there under, manufacture, handling and processing of asbestos and its products is declared as hazardous process.
ii. Government of India has prepared Schedule XIV – Handling and Processing of Asbestos, Manufacture of any Article or Substance of Asbestos and any other Process of Manufacture or otherwise in which Asbestos is used in any form as a dangerous operation under section 87 of the Factories Act, 1948.
iii. Government of India by Notification in Official Gazette has reduced the permissible level of Air borne Asbestos fibres in work environment to 20.1 fibre/cc.
iv. Grant of fresh mining leases and renewal of existing mining leases for Asbestos was banned by the Ministry of Mines in the country on Health Grounds.