The Indian chemical and petrochemical industry should be among the top five players in the world in the next five years. Speaking at the launch of the 8th India Chem 2014 Biennial International conference, Ananth Kumar, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, said the industry was the backbone of the country.

“We are at the number 12 position with a 3 per cent global market share, but with the right policies, we can be among the top five in five years time,’’ the Minister said.

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.

The international conference is to be held between October 9 and 11, 2014. While addressing industry leaders, Mr. Kumar said he was confident of the capability of the industry. “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.”

The Minister said he had strongly pleaded the case of the industry to the Finance Minister. “I think there will be initiatives, reforms and incentives in the Union Budget to give a push to the industry.”

Further, Mr. Kumar said he was enthused by the idea of Reverse Special Economic Zones (SEZ) 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”.

Further, the Minister said the government set up investment regions in the form of PCPIRs (Petroleum, Chemicals & Petrochemicals Investment Regions) at Dahej, Gujarat, Vishakhapatnam and Kakinada in Andhra, Paradip in Orissa and Cuddalore and Nagapattinam in Tamilnadu. “The government has already invested Rs. 1.47 lakh crore and we need to invest totally Rs. 7.7 lakh crore. We have created 2.25 lakh employment in PCPIRs and the employment generation possible is 34 lakh.”

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