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Updated: July 4, 2014 23:32 IST

Centre planning ‘reverse’ SEZs abroad for cheaper chemicals

Special Correspondent
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Ananth Kumar
The Hindu Ananth Kumar

The domestic industry can be among top five in the world

Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers Ananth Kumar, on Friday, indicated that the government would consider the idea of establishing `reverse’ SEZs (special economic zones) in some countries as the move would help procure chemicals at cheaper costs.

Mr. Kumar said he was enthused by the idea of reverse SEZs, and was proposing to establish them in Myanmar and Iran from where “we can get feedstock at more affordable rates. “We will initiate talks with the respective governments,” he added.

He was speaking at the launch of the 8th India Chem 2014 biennial international conference, to be held in Mumbai between October 9 and 11.

The Minister also said the government had set up investment regions in the form of PCPIRs (petroleum, chemicals and & petrochemicals investment regions) at Dahej in Gujarat, Vishakhapatnam and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, Paradip in Orissa and Cuddalore and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu.

“Chemical industry is backbone of the country. The government has already invested Rs.1.47 lakh crore, and we need to invest totally Rs.7.70 lakh crore. We have created 2.25 lakh jobs in PCPIRs, and the potential employment opportunities would be to the tune of 34 lakh,’’ he added.

Mr. Kumar felt that the Indian chemical and petrochemical industry had the potential to be among the top five players in the world.

“We are at the number 12th position with a three per cent global market share, but with the right policies, we can be among the top five in five years time,’’ the Minister said.

“I think there will be initiatives, reforms and incentives in the forthcoming Union Budget to give a push to the industry,” he added.

While China is the leader with a 29 per cent share, USA, Germany and Japan follow with 24, 14 and 15 per cent of the global share, respectively.

“If in frontier technologies — IT, aerospace technology, nuclear technology and biotechnology — India is among the top six in the world, why can’t we achieve it in this industry? We will facilitate you and ensure that India does so.’’

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