India needs to discourage large-scale paper imports to boost the domestic paper industry, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
The MSME minister also pitched for use of bamboo as a raw material by the industry as different types of papers can be made using bamboo. The government has allocated Rs 1,300 crore towards 'Bamboo Mission', he said.
"India is witnessing large-scale paper imports 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," Gadkari said in a video message at the inauguration of Paperex 2019.
He pitched for increasing the use of bamboo as it can be a win-win situation for the paper industry and the farmers.
JK Paper Managing Director Harshpati Singhania said,"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.
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. Large-scale import of cheap paper is meeting the demand which should have been met by the domestic industry.
Paperex, the largest conference for pulp and paper technology organised in Asia is sharply focussing 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).
Paperex is designed to meet all the aspirations of technology seekers as the world's latest and cost effective technologies will be presented during the 3-day conference, said 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 tonne to 25 million tonne by 2025 due to emerging consumer trends which favour paper over non-biodegradable options.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)