Review FTAs and implement GST, urges Nadir Godrej to new government

Business Standard, India

Review FTAs and implement GST, urges Nadir Godrej to new government

The Chairman of CII National Committee on Chemicals suggests establishment of the chemical sector council for innovation and setting up a $100-million Chemical Innovation Fund

BS B2B Bureau, Mumbai

26 May 2014

With the new government all set to take charge, CII National Committee on Chemicals has put forth its expectations from the new government for the benefit of the chemical industry. Topping the list is the demand for reviewing the free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by India with other countries as the committee feels that these have not benefited the industry.

“The industry is at the crossroads where it can propel itself into next orbit of growth. India has the potential to be a chemical hub. Free trade agreements have not resulted in any advantage to Indian chemical industry, while other countries that signed FTAs with India are benefited much more. It is suggested that a detailed study be conducted to examine the impact of FTAs and they may be reviewed as required,” said Nadir Godrej, Chairman – CII National Committee on Chemicals, and Managing Director, Godrej Industries Ltd, in a press release.

To achieve the speciality chemicals industry’s potential the government should take steps to ensure availability of key feedstock at competitive prices. It should also encourage investments in economic sized units with appropriate technologies to address environmental issues.

“Government should expedite swift implementation of GST to lower transaction costs and avoid cascading of taxes. Involvement of states in policy formulation should be encouraged, eg Central government constituted empowered committee of state finance ministers led to smoother and faster VAT implementation,” suggested Godrej.

He also emphasised on the need for evolving consumption standards for the growth of the speciality chemicals industry. The world’s population today stands at about 7 billion. The global population in 2025 is expected to be 8 billion and 9 billion in 2043. With increasing GDP, the Indian middle-class could grow from 31 million households in 2008 to 148 million households by 2030, with quadrupled consumption. Furthermore, India’s urban population is expected to increase by 275 million people by 2030. “This will result in consumption-led double-digit growth in key end markets over the next decade and an increased need for better products and services,” said Godrej.

The CII National Committee on Chemicals has also urged the government to take steps to improve global competitiveness of the Indian chemical industry by leveraging innovation. The government must establish the chemical sector council for innovation and set up a $100-million Chemical Innovation Fund, added Godrej.

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