Haldia Petrochemicals wants excise cut on plastic units

February 23rd, 2008 - 5:34 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 23 (IANS) An official of West Bengal’s showpiece Haldia Petrochemicals Limited (HPL) has said a reduction in the excise duty for plastic units in the forthcoming budget will boost the industry. “There would be unprecedented growth in the industry if the excise duty is halved,” HPL Managing Director Swapan Bhowmick said here Friday evening.

HPL is a naphtha-based petrochemical complex, located 125 km from Kolkata. It is jointly promoted by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), The Chatterjee Petrochem (Mauritius) Co. Ltd. and the Tata Group, with an investment of $1.2 billion.

Bhowmick said a reduction in the excise duty for plastic industry from the present 16 percent to eight percent in the union budget would propel growth.

Bhowmick was addressing the city’s plastic industry traders and manufacturers here at the launch function of “Plastindia 2009″, the international plastics exhibition and conference scheduled for February next year at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

Last held in 2006, the exhibition is considered the second largest in the world.

Refuting all environmental concerns, Bhowmick said: “Plastic is the most environment-friendly material around (when compared to steel and wood). But the fact, however, has not been recognised across the nation.”

G.D. Gautama, principal secretary of the state government’s Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textiles Department, said the industry was a victim of misinformation and miscommunication among users about plastics.

“Only plastic can meet the challenge among the resources which are finite. It is recyclable,” Gautama said.

Bhowmick hailed plastic consumption as the index of development while predicting that India will become the third largest consumer of plastics in the world by 2010.

“The Indian plastic industry has been witnessing a double digit growth figure in the past few years. Although India is emerging as a global plastics processing centre, we have a long way to go before we can compete with our closest neighbour China. They are importing raw materials from us and then selling the finished products across the world,” he said.

Leaders from the plastic industry appreciated the state government’s efforts in setting up plastic clusters for small and medium industry sectors and allocation of land in the districts for the purpose.

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