India has potential to become top chemical exporter: Official

ndia's chemical industry has an immense potential to become a reliable exporter of quality products, a top government official said as he stressed on the need for companies in the sector to comply with environmental norms for sustainable growth.

Inderjit Pal, Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, appreciated the contribution of the chemical industry to the Indian economy and at the same time also emphasised the need to ensure that companies grow in a sustainable manner with due regard to environmental concerns.

Pal was speaking at a meeting here last evening organised by industry representatives, who will be holding their mega event "India Chem 2014" in Mumbai in October. The meet was called to take stock of preparations for the largest event of chemicals and petrochemical industry in India.

The chemicals industry is expected to grow at 11% per annum and reach a size of $224 billion by 2017 from the current $108.4 billion, the representatives said.

Speciality chemicals is the fastest growing segment in the industry. These are high value, low-volume chemicals known for their end-use applications and performance enhancing properties, the senior IAS officer said.

There is an immense potential for increasing consumption within the country and make India a reliable exporter of quality chemicals, he added.

"India Chem is an important platform for networking, exchange of ideas, creation of awareness of new products & technologies, and exploration of possibilities for enhancement of trade," Pal said.

The event provides an excellent opportunity for the industry to showcase its capabilities and strengths to the world. "The focus for this year's event will be on growth with emphasis on sustainability and green chemistry," he said.

Speaking to PTI on margins of the meeting, Pal said the work on setting up a Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) at Dahej in adjoining Bharuch district, about 90km from Vadodara, is in the final stages of implementation.

The project, approved in 2009, seeks to attract investments worth Rs 70,000 crore, he added.

Addressing the gathering, Deepak Mehta, Chairman of FICCI Committee on Chemicals Industry, spoke about delay in getting approval from environmental authorities for setting up units.

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