Need to discourage indiscriminate import of paper: Nitin Gadkari

14th international conference on pulp, paper and allied industries, Paperex 2019 inaugurated

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New Delhi, 3rd December 2019: India is witnessing large scale paper import despite the presence of diversified paper sector in the country. I am especially concerned about the growth prospects of small scale paper and pulp industries, an important part of MSME sector. The imports in paper sector need to be discouraged while exports should be enhanced to support the domestic industry, said Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India. He was speaking in a video message at the inauguration of Paperex 2019, the 14th international conference and exhibition on pulp, paper and allied industries that commenced in New Delhi today.

According to Mr Gadkari, bamboo can be used as a raw material for paper industry. Government of India has sanctioned an allocation of Rs 1300 crore towards Bamboo Mission. With bamboo we can make different types of paper. If we increase the use of bamboo, it can be a win-win for the paper industry and the farmers.

Chief guest on the occasion Mr Harshpati Singhania, Managing Director, JK Paper stated, “Growth in paper industry is moving from developed world to the developing world. Consumption growth is declining in Europe and Americas while the same is going up in Asia and some of the Latin American countries. Currently, India is the fastest growing paper market in the world”

Mr Singhania who is also the founder President of Indian Paper Manufactures Association (IPMA), said servicing the growing requirement of paper is both an opportunity and a challenge for the industry. Largescale import of cheap paper is meeting the demand which should have been met by the domestic industry. Indian paper companies don’t enjoy a level playing field with other paper producing countries where input cost is relatively much lesser and hence face import threat.

Government is urging the consumers to reduce single-use plastics. Paper industry needs to develop cost efficient and innovative solutions to meet the rising demand, Mr Singhania added.

Paperex, the largest conference organized in Asia for pulp and paper technology is sharply focus on technologies to replace single use plastic with paper and paperboard in an accelerated manner.  The conference is being organised by Inpaper International the journal of Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA).

The emerging new life styles and environment friendly packaging needs represent a growth opportunity for different types of paper. Paperex is designed to meet all the aspirations of technology seekers as world’s latest and cost effective technologies will be presented during the 3-day conference, said Mr P G Mukundan, Secretary General IARPMA.

According to IARPMA, Paper Industry is expecting a big leap in growth from present consumption of 18.5 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes by the year 2025 due to emerging consumer trends which favour paper over non-biodegradable options.

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