Chemical industry has potential to attain 15% annual growth: President Mukherjee
The Indian chemical industry represents the 3% of the global market at USD 108 billion
“The Indian chemical industry, at USD 108 billion, is three per cent of the global market. There is every reason, this share can rise. This sector can clock an annual growth rate of 15 per cent to become a USD 290 billion industry by 2017,” he said, after inaugurating the 66th annual session of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers.
In order to achieve this target, a road-map that takes into account all growth-inducing aspects like research & development and enhanced capacity building of workers needs to be prepared, he said.
Noting that the research and development expenditure of the chemical industry is less than 0.5 per cent of its revenue, he said a significant scale-up in spending to the global benchmark of four per cent is necessary.
“The expansion envisaged in chemical industry also underlines the need to make available an additional five million skilled professionals by 2017,” he said.
Technical institutes must be strengthened for meeting manpower requirements and infrastructure support to units and the petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals regions must be leveraged, he said.
Along with growth, the chemical industry must give equal emphasis to the adherence of safety, health and environment standards, the President said.
“The industry must promote sustainable development by investing in technologies that safeguard the environment while stimulating growth,” he said.
The chemical industry has played a vital role in the growth of Indian agriculture sector with the use of fertilizers and pesticides demonstrating the capability to enhance farm yield and production, he said.
Though the green revolution brought about a considerable rise in food production, the disproportionate use of chemical fertilizers eventually led to a decline in productivity, President said.
“We have to expand production levels significantly to meet the needs of a growing population. This underlines the need to improve farm productivity. At the same time, it highlights the need to promote balanced use of fertilizers and pesticides,” Mukherjee added.