President stresses importance of chemical industry

Mumbai, Oct 28 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Thursday expressed concern over the low per capita consumption of chemical products in the country, saying it is only a fraction of the global average.

‘In dyes, for example, our per capita consumption is 50 grams as against a world average of 425 grams. In case of polymers, the per capita consumption is 5.2 kilograms in India, as against the world average of 25 kilograms,’ Patil said, inaugurating India Chem 2010, an international exhibition and conference on chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and process plant machinery, here.

‘Keeping in view the size of our domestic market, the potential for growth of these sectors in India is immense,’ she added.

The Indian chemical industry is the sixth largest in the world and worth $ 3.6 trillion. It accounts for nearly one-eighth of industrial production of the country.

‘It also accounts for one-sixth of the country’s exports of manufactured goods and has been been registering a steady growth of about 7-8 percent over the past few years,’ she said.

She, however, asked the industry to pay increased attention to safety, health and environmental standards.

‘The chemical industry in the coming decades has to promote sustainable development by investing in technology, that protects the environment and stimulates growth,’ said Patil.

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