New Delhi: Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda chaired the second meeting of ‘Chemicals & Petrochemicals Advisory Forum’ through video conferencing on Thursday. The meeting has been attended by Minister of State and Vice Chairman of the Forum Mansukh Mandaviya, Secretary (Chemicals & Petrochemicals) RK Chaturvedi, senior officers from Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Department of Commerce, representatives of various chemical and petrochemicals industry associations.
The main agenda of the meeting of the forum was to discuss possible ways to realise the vision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ in the context of chemicals and petrochemicals sector. The Forum provides a permanent platform to the industry to interact with the government with the objective of resolving bottlenecks, enhancing the ease of doing business and facilitating investments in the sector.
During the meeting, various associations highlighted challenges being faced by the industry and came up with suggestions to boost domestic production and export, while reducing dependency on import.
While speaking Gowda said that the potential of chemicals and petrochemicals sector is huge. The government has taken several steps since 2014 to improve ease of doing business and today India is ranked at 63, up from 130 in 2017 as per World Bank's report. He said that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has affected economies throughout the world. The industry needs to take advantage of various reliefs and incentives provided under Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced by the government.
Gowda informed participants about the steps taken by the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals during last one year for supporting orderly development of the sector like making BIS standard mandatory for 19 chemicals & five petrochemicals, notification of public procurement order mandating government agencies to give preference to local manufacturers during procurement of 55 chemicals, the decision to initiate the process for getting separate HS code for high trade valued chemicals etc.
He also conveyed that the department is working on revamped PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region) policy for supporting the rapid growth of these industrial clusters through a mix of right incentives. On the other hand, Industries should consider increasing their R&D expenditure and activities so that India could emerge as next exporter of technology in the near future. There is need for Industries to adopt Green Chemistry also called sustainable chemistry to minimize waste formation, use of safer solvents and use of renewable feedstock to develop chemicals and petrochemicals sector into an environmentally sustainable sector.
During the session, Mandaviya said that development of PCPIRs is an important prerequisite to strengthen our manufacturing base and attract new investments.
Secretary Chemicals & Petrochemicals said that the suggestions and grievances of the industry has been taken note of, and the Department will work on those in coordination with other Departments of Government of India to resolve issues wherever possible.
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