Chandigarh: There is a huge unrealized potential of further growth of plastic industry because of very low per capita consumption level in the country, an official said on Tuesday.

While addressing a conference here, Nelkamal Darbari, Joint Secretary (Petrochemicals), Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, said that in India the per capita consumption of plastics in only about 7 kg compared to about 95 kg in the US and about 65 kg in Europe and world average of above 26 kg.

Even in China the per capita consumption has reached 44 kg.

Highlighting the significant contribution of the plastics industry to the economic development and growth of various key sectors in the country she said that myths about plastics should be discouraged as in almost all the sectors like agriculture, horticulture, healthcare, automotive or construction industry use of plastics has been enhanced.

She added that the plastic sector has given employment about Rs 85,000 crore to nearly 3.7 million people both directly and indirectly. In the next 10 years, 10 million jobs will be generated in chemical and petrochemical sector. She said that by 2020 the demand of plastic would be enormous in view of rising population.

The central government is providing funds for infrastructure in plastic parks set up in different states, whereas state government makes other arrangements. Government of India in collaboration with the state governments is makeking efforts to bring the plastic industry at the doorsteps of the agriculturists and farmers of Punjab and Haryana state, she added.

The government is also focusing on skill development in the field of plastic manufacturing through opening up training centres at various places. She said that Government of India has provided Rs 1,200 crore for skill development in this year's budget.

On the occasion, Prabh Dass, MD and CEO HMEL, in his address said that in recent times, there have been developments which have resulted in increased availability of raw materials and opportunities in the plastics sector in north India.

He said that the refinery project of HMEL group has taken off at Bathinda, and the sam includes a Polyproplene units. Similarly, there is increased availability of raw materials from the Panipal Petrochemical Complex of IOC.

He said that now when the attitude of the states of Punjab and Haryana is changing from agriculture to industry, this is the high time to setup plastic industry for the benefit of the people of states.

(Agencies)

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