Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Industry & Economy
`New integrated petrochem project to be expedited'
The Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mr K. Rahman Khan.
Bangalore , May 28
THE proposal of setting up a new integrated industrial estate for chemicals and petrochemicals industry would be speeded up by the new Government.
The project would get a fillip with the Government expected to finalise the consultant in about two months, said the newly appointed Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mr K. Rahman Khan.
He said a feasibility report on the project would be prepared by the consultant, which will form the basis for studying the same.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday after assuming office, Mr Khan said with chemicals and petrochemicals being a key industry with higher export potential, a new integrated facility had become imperative. No specific site has been identified yet. But Maharashtra and Gujarat, with their heavy concentration of chemical and fertiliser industries, Karnataka or Orissa may be the likely candidates. The Government is looking at port-based facility for the industry.
Chemicals and petrochemicals contribute about 14 per cent of overall industrial production and their exports account for 10.7 per cent of the total exports.
Mr Khan, a Congress MP from Karnataka, said the Government would also expedite the long-term fertiliser policy, which would aim at phased deregulation of the sector. A draft outline of the policy for holding discussions with stakeholders such as the state governments, fertiliser industry, farmers and economists has been prepared and put on the Web site of the Department of Fertilisers for comments and suggestions.
"The new proposed policy will aim at total decontrol of fertiliser sector in a phased manner and will dwell on removal of aberrations and deficiencies in the existing pricing policy," he said.
Mr Khan, however, ruled out subsidy payment aimed at providing farmers nutrients at affordable prices.
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