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Indian chemical sector likely to double its size at $300 billion by 2025

Terming India's chemical sector as the driving engine of manufacturing sector, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals secretary Rajeev Kapoor has said that Indian chemical sector is likely to double its size at $300 billion by 2025 from current $150-155 billion, clocking an annual growth rate of 8-10 percent. In order to meet this objective, the Centre has also announced plans to bring a new policy to promote the domestic industry and curb imports.

The secretary highlighted that the sub-sectors like speciality chemicals and agro- chemicals are growing at a higher pace. He also said the department is working on a draft chemical policy which would focus on meeting the rising demand of chemicals from domestic industry and reduce dependence on imports. But he did not give any deadline by when this draft would be unveiled.

On the challenges faced by the industry, Kapoor said that there is a lot of negativity about plastic and petro- chemicals and stressed on the need to create awareness among consumers that 'plastic is not devil'. He asked the industry to focus on research activities to come out with new innovative products based on the feedback of user industries like automobiles. He pointed out that the use of plastics in Indian automobiles sector is lower than the global average.

Kapoor said the industry should also focus on assuring feedstock supply and even suggested that the domestic players should together place order to buy such from global markets at cheaper price. He also emphasized on the need to rework the current Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Regions (PCPIRs) policy to make them more effective and encourage additional investments. He added that the department has taken up the issues related with FTAs (free trade agreements) in the chemical sector with the commerce ministry.

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