The Indian plastics industry offers excellent potential in terms of capacity, infrastructure, and skilled manpower. It is supported by a large number of polymer producers, plastic process machinery and mould manufacturers in the country. Emerging as one of the fastest growing global markets with 12% growth rate, the plastic industry is expected to increase from the current 12 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) to 20 MMTPA by 2020.
Owing to the plastic industries growth, the government has given emphasis on strengthening the industry as it currently hosts over 30,000 processing units, 85-90% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises. Initiatives such as Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan are opening up opportunities for accelerated growth in the plastics industry. This is because the industry is contributing in a big way to the success of these programs.
Let us take the example of Digital India program. Presently, plastic components required for the production of electronic gadgets are mostly imported in the country. However, in the next 5 to 10 years, most of the products in the electronics industry are proposed to be made in the country. This will not only reduce the imports from China and other countries but will also turn India into an emerging sourcing hub.
Continuing with the bolstering initiatives, the government has also introduced several industry-friendly policy measures including a scheme for setting up plastic parks to encourage the domestic plastic processing industry. According to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, “For the promotion of the plastic industry in the country, the government has taken various industry-friendly policy initiatives such as deregulating the petrochemical sector and allowing 100% FDI under the automatic route to facilitate fresh investments”.
The government also introduced a scheme for setting up Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to improve the existing petrochemical technology and research environment in the country. This step is aimed at promoting the development of new applications of polymers and plastics in the country. In addition, a total of 23 Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET)have been approved to facilitate technology and financial collaboration for imparting employability skills in chemicals and petrochemicals sector.
With the help of the government, India is set to become one of the world’s largest plastics markets within the next few years. The sheer size and tremendous growing demands are bound to turn India into the world’s next plastic destination.