Addressing the major conference on Championing Manufacturing in India, organised by CII, Mr Samir Kumar Biswas, Joint Secretary, Dept of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers highlighted that while Indian Industry is growing, the chemical industry needs to grow faster. Chemicals being one of the important components in various industries, the industry is going through a volatile phase. While Indian Government is keen to support industry by policy measures, Industry needs to come forward and come up with specific policy recommendations to create an enabling ecosystem for the industry.
Environment regulations are critical for Chemical industry as “Zero Defect and Zero Effect” is the focus of the Government thus ease of compliance is the need of the hour, said Mr Nadir B Godrej, MD, Godrej Industries Ltd. Panelists emphasized that PCPIR – Petroleum, Chemicals, Petrochemicals Investment Region can emerge as the engine for growth for the Indian Chemical Industry to become globally competitive. While innovation in terms of product and process are important to meet the domestic and international market, India has the potential to excel in Speciality chemicals. With increased focus on Research & Development, India can excel in Speciality chemicals which are customized.
Mr Zarir Langrana, COO – Chemicals, TATA Chemicals Ltd emphasized the need to focus on set of practices for the Chemical Industry and integrate with the Make in India initiative of Indian Government. He mentioned that chemicals have a wide footprint of cascading growth across industries. He urged on the urgent need of Single Window Clearance for expediting and simplifying the approval process for Chemical Industry to grow and become competitive Availability of feedstock and skilled manpower are two other critical issues which needs attention. While 8 lacs skilled individuals are involved in the industry, there is an emerging gap of 2 to 3 lacs of skilled manpower in the country.
“While India has the wherewithal and technology for higher order products and markets, limited feedstock availability is coming in the way of it achieving its full potential”, said Dr Raman Ramachandran, CMD, BASF India Ltd and Head, BASF, South Asia.
Mr Sudhir Shenoy, CEO Dow International Chemicals shared a comparative analysis of India vis-à-vis China with regards to the development of the chemicals industry, highlighting the concerns that need to be kept in mind to avoid the sustainability issues being faced there currently.
Panelists deliberated on the impact of the emerging FTAs which were already hitting the domestic industry hard, which is expected to get accentuated in the more liberalized tariff regime. Huge capital outlays required to set up facilities were being adversely affected with high interest rates prevailing, plants were put up in lower interest markets like Singapore & Korea to cater to the Indian market.