India's chemical sector is expected to double its size at USD 300 billion by 2025, clocking an annual growth rate of 8-10 percent per, the government said today.
To meet this objective, the Centre also announced plans to bring a new policy to promote the domestic industry and curb imports.
Addressing a CII conference, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals secretary Rajeev Kapoor said this industry is critical and one of the driving engine of manufacturing sector.
"Indian chemical sector is worth USD 150-155 billion at present and is growing at 8-10 per cent annually," Kapoor said, adding the sector's size is poised to reach USD 300 billion by 2025.
The sub-sectors like speciality chemicals and agro- chemicals are growing at a higher pace, he noted.
The secretary said the department is working on a draft chemical policy which would focus on meeting the rising demand of chemicals from domestic industry and reduce dependence on imports.
Kapoor did not give any deadline by when this draft would be unveiled.
Taking about the challenges faced by the industry, he said there is a lot of negativity about plastic and petrochemicals and stressed on the need to create awareness among consumers that "plastic is not devil".
He asked the industry to focus on research activities to come out with new innovative products based on the feedback of user industries like automobiles.
Kapoor pointed out that the use of plastics in Indian automobiles sector is lower than the global average.
The secretary said the industry should also focus on assuring feedstock supply and even suggested that the domestic players should together place order to buy such from global markets at cheaper price.
Kapoor also spoke about the need to rework the current Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Regions (PCPIRs) policy to make them more effective and encourage additional investments.
He emphasised on the need to rationalise regulations related to environment.
The department has taken up the issues related with FTAs (free trade agreements) in the chemical sector with the commerce ministry, Kapoor added.