Indian Paper Manufacturers Association today said the demand for paper is expected to double to 20 million tonnes by 2020 but raw material shortage remains one of the major hurdles before the industry.
"The paper demand is expected to cross the 20 million tons mark by 2020. The major constraint in capacity enhancement that the industry faces is related to raw material shortfall," IPMA President M L Pachisia said.
IPMA represents sixteen major paper manufacturers of the country. As per IPMA, the present paper manufacturing capacity across the country stands at around 10 million tonnes, which is similar to the demand.
"We are talking to the government if they could even provide us with 2-3 per cent of the wasteland lying vacant across the country, we could utilise that for plantations," Pachisia added.
As per IPMA, around 1.25 lakh hectares of land is being utilised by its members across the country for obtaining raw material.
"IPMA member mills have set themselves an ambitious target of further plantations covering 70,000 hectares during the current calendar year," he said.
The other major obstacle, according to IPMA, remains the cheap paper imports from China and Indonesia and provide protective measures to the domestic firms and impose "anti dumping duties".
"We want a level playing field when it comes to cheap imports from China and Indonesia," Pachisia added.
He further added: "India also needs to put in place a framework and infrastructure for separation and collection of waste paper for recycling."
According to IPMA, the per capita consumption in the country is only 9.2 kg per capita, which is much lower than per capita consumption in China and Indonesia, which is estimated at 42 kg and 23 kg respectively.