Union Government is all set to make Petroleum, Chemicals and petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) policy more attractive for global investors with aim to cut down on increasing imports of chemical and petroleum products in the country.

“At present, the country’s annual net import of chemicals and petrochemicals stands at Rs 1,20,000 crore, which is expected to touch Rs 3,00,000 crore by 2024, if no steps are taken to check, he said. It is very scary situation. Our target is how do we reduce the import dependency without compromising on quality,”  said  Mr P Raghavendra Rao , Secretary, Chemicals and petro-chemicals while inaugurating a Two day  Corrosion summit organised by CII, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals and Outokumpu India  here today.

“We want to see a scenario, may be in the next 10 years, not only to bridge this gap but also to become a net exporter of fertilizers and chemicals. Presently the share of chemicals and petrochemical sector is 15 -16 per cent in the manufacturing sector and we would like to take it to 25 per cent by the year 2024-25 “ Mr Rao said.

“Presently all the four PCPIRs (petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals investment regions) are facing “lots of issues in terms of infrastructure, new investment, incentives and feedstock. These four PCPIRs are located in Gujarat, Andhra, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. With development of these PCPIR they will become most attractive for investors

Attending an industry meeting organised by the FICCI Odisha chapter, Rao said, “16 per cent of the chemical and petrochemical industry is in eastern part of the country. But per capita consumption is very low. Odisha is the only state which has advantage of both PCPIR unit and Plastic Park.: he added .

“To further cut imports of various other category chemicals the government has made  compliance of quality standards compulsory for 40 more chemicals that are locally-manufactured as well as imported. The government is also expected to soon introduce Harmonised System (HS) of coding for chemicals and petrochemicals imported in large volumes.” He added

:Currently, there are no prescribed mandatory standards and HS coding for chemicals and petrochemicals in the country. However recently for the first time, the government made standards compulsory for caustic soda. HS coding is a standardised international system to classify globally traded products..” He said.

“The government will not only make mandatory standards but will also take strict action against those companies which do not comply with them” he said.

“The government on the lines of chemicals should bring more than 50 % per cent of the non standard stainless steel currently being manufactured in the country under Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) .The government should also make use of stainless steel mandatory to control corrosion problems in the coastal areas in Infrastructure projects” Said Mr Yatinder Pal Singh Suri, Co-Chairman, CII Corrosion committee and Managing Director, Outokumpu India.While speaking on the occasion.

Others who were present on the occasion included Dr U Kamachi Mudali, Chairman, Heavy water board, Department of Atomic energy, Mr V K Srivastava, Chief Executive, Suprabha Protective Products,  and Mr A.K Tiwari, Executive Director, Operations, Indian Oil.