Ananth Kumar announces plans for the industry in Iran and Mayanmar

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The Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertiliser has announced three major plans for the industry with a unique reverse special economic zone (RSEZ) in Iran and Mayanmar to meet industry demand of competitive raw materials; development of four investment petrochemical regions in India; and pooling of gas prices to reduce the subsidy burden of the government if natural gas prices are hiked.

The Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertiliser, Ananth Kumar said, similar to export SEZs in India we are setting up two reverse SEZs in Mayanmar and Iran that would be hub for supply of raw materials to the Indian chemicals and fertiliser industry in the coming years. “This is just an initial phase and we are in discussions with the ministry of external affairs (MEA) of all the concerned countries and once operational it will make Indian chemical industry globally very competitive, especially in the light of subsidy burden and regulated tariffs that the industry has to bear,” said Ananth Kumar.

The ministry is also setting up four investment regions for petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals (PCP-IR) at Dahej in Gujarat, Vishakhapatnam and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and Paradip in Orissa and Cuddalore and Nagapattanam in Tamil Nadu. “Steering committees are being formed to accelerate the implementation,” said Ananth Kumar. He also called upon the industry leaders to focus on exporting finished products and specialty chemicals, moving away from the present composition of commodities and building blocks.”

All together the PCPIRs and other measures to increase the capacity would generate around 34 lakh jobs in the region. Besides, the ministry plans to increase India’s standing amongst the top five global chemical and fertiliser producing countries in the next five years. “With chemical and petrochemical industry being the backbone of the country and with the adoption of forward looking policies along with right approach it can aspire to be the top five countries -- China, US, Germany, and Japan in the next five years,” said the minister.

The minister also said the industry is facing the high cost burden of imported gas for the fertiliser plants and it is expected to go up if the natural gas prices are revised upwards. He said, “The ministry is looking at curtailing the impact of the higher gas price by pooling the gas resources and the prices on the lines of power projects, however he declined to elaborate further as to when it would be implemented,” said Kumar.

He also, said the impact of higher gas price or reduced supply from the KG D6 gas block has not affected the expansion or production, rather the minister has announced revival of three plants of Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCIL) in Talcher (Odisha), Sindri (Jharkhand) and Ramagundam (Telangana). He said “the units at Talcher and Ramgundam, once revived, will raise the domestic production capacity by 3 million tonnes with an estimated investment of around Rs 10,000 crore.

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