The Indian packaging industry, currently pegged at USD 25 billion, is growing at a rate of 15 per cent per annum and is set to touch USD 30 billion to 35 billion mark by 2020, a top Central Government official said and called for matching global standards in the sector. Keeping in mind the growth of this key industry and India’s potential to boost exports, the Government is forming an expert committee to study packaging standards required to be met in a highly competitive global market, said Inder Jit Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry. He was addressing the “Asian Packaging Congress 2016” on Saturday.
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The panel would comprise members from the industry and exporters who would sit together and review packaging quality. This would help India in maintaining international standards in packaging products and also boost exports, he said. “The packaging standards must match with the rest of the world or the western world so that we are able to compete with them or rather exceed their standards and for this purpose a committee is being formed by the India Government,” Singh told delegates at the congress drawn from countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore, Turkey, Japan and Thailand.
Packaging helps in enhancing the value and life span of a product and thus it is very important to adopt high packaging standards both in domestic and export markets, the IAS officer said. The packaging industry, now pegged at USD 25 billion, is growing at a rate of 15 per cent per annum and is set to touch USD 30 billion to 35 billion mark by 2020, he said.
The consumers cannot make out what quality standards have been set by manufacturers but under the domestic laws it has become mandatory to indicate such grades on products when they are being packaged for sale in the market, Singh said. Singh said 55 per cent of the Indian export market was regulated where nothing much needs to be done in packaging as importers lay down the specific standards that are required to be adopted while packing products.
However, for the rest of 45 per cent unregulated export area, the country needs to have its own packaging standard which would stand out in a competitive global market, Singh added. Singh and other speakers at the congress said currently some packaging material is imported by India. Time has come when such packaging material should be made in India which is trying to make its mark in the international market.
“India is very strong in terms of materials used in packaging of goods. There are about 22,000 packaging industries who are involved in manufacturing material. The Indian packaging industry is growing in a big way,” said M M Sharma, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.
“However, we are little behind China in comparison to machinery packaging. Germany and Italy are pioneers in machinery packaging,” he added. The congress, organised jointly by Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) and Asian Packaging Federation, explored the latest developments in strategies, techniques and technologies of packaging materials, machineries and systems which have impact in shaping modern-day life style of people.
In his address, N C Saha, Director of IIP, said the contemporary packaging trends and techniques have indeed become the lifeline of modern-day lifestyle. The growing economies of the developing countries in Asia demand expert packaging knowledge and skills to fulfil the need of value addition into the product.