India: India Calls for Doubling the Output of Chemicals and Petrochemicals within Five Years
India's Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Ananth Kumar called upon the industry to target a growth rate of 14.7 per cent per year from its current 11–12 percent rate. In fact, India's administration has presented an detailed growth agenda for the sector.
New Delhi/India – Kumar recently inaugurated ‘Cheminar-2016’ in New Delhi. The subject of the seminar was ‘Sustainable Chemistry – India’s future growth story.’ Speaking on the occasion, Kumar said that the chemicals and petrochemicals industry in the country is growing at the rate of 11–12 per cent and producing output worth $200 billion annually. He called upon the industry to target a growth rate of 14.7 per cent per annum so as to double its output in the next five years. He said that the government will facilitate in the growth story.
Touching upon the issue of availability and cost of feedstock for these industries, he said that the government can help in long term pricing contracts with other countries for natural gas. Kumar said that there are 22 refineries in the country, and there is a move to set up chemical hubs around them. This will result in savings as cluster approach can reduce costs. The projects need not be confined only to the Greenfield projects but also cover the Brownfield projects i.e. the projects already running at various places. The minister said that the government can help in providing common facilities such as infrastructure, effluent plants, trading and testing facilities, etc which can help in cutting down the cost by 25–30 per cent. He called upon the industry to be competitive in all aspects. Kumar said that the government has opted for the coal gasification route for the Talcher Fertilizer plant and is also laying gas pipelines to make gas available in the eastern part of the country. On the issue of reverse SEZs, he said that the discussions are on with Iran and Mozambique, and other places can also be explored.
Earlier addressing the seminar, the Chemicals and Petrochemicals Secretary AK Bishnoi said that the sector has vast potential of generating employment. Though the sector contributes 3.8 per cent to the Indian GDP and 9.4 per cent to exports, the per capita consumption of the products is low and hence, there is immense potential to grow. He expressed the government’s commitment to make India an easy place to do work. He assured the industry that the steps will be taken to provide all facilities and clear bottlenecks. Bishnoi said that the National Chemical Policy covering all aspects of the industry is on the anvil which will help in scaling up investments and realize economies of scale. He called upon the industry to put in more R&D efforts and have closure linkages with academia.