Stating that petrochemicals is a commodity for the “poor” of the country, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Union Petroleum and Natural Gas said Saturday that cotton clothes are worn by the rich and it is the poor who opt for polyester as it is cheap and sturdy. “Petrochemicals gareebo ki commodity hai. Aaj kal cotton k kapde, sampann log pehnte hai. Garib log polyester kapde pehnte hai. Yeh sasta hota hai aur tikau hota hai (Petrochemicals is a commodity of the poor. These days the rich wear cotton clothes. The poor wear polyester clothes. It is both cheap and sturdy),” said Pradhan while interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the 6th Petrochemical Conclave held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
“Sampanno k ghar mein lakadi k furniture aate hai, garib k ghar mein plastic k furniture aate hai. Sampanno k ghar mein concrete ki chaat hoti hai, garibo k ghar mein polythene ki chaat hoti hai (The rich have wooden furniture at their homes, while the poor have plastic one. The roofs of the homes of the rich are made of concrete, while those of the poor are made of polythene,” the minister added while going on to predict a “multi-fold growth” in the consumption of petrochemicals in the country by 2030.
The minister pointed out that India’s average domestic per capita consumption of petrochemicals is about 22 kilogram per person, which is low when compared to the global average of 78 kg/person. Similarly, the average domestic per capita consumption of polymers is about 10 kilogram per person, in comparison to the global average of 35 kg/person.
The current petrochemicals market in India is estimated to be about 30 million metric tonnes per annum. This market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.5 times that of the GDP in the next 10 years, speakers at the conclave said.
A white paper unveiled at the Petrochemical conclave in presence of the Union Minister talked about how Modi-government’s initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Housing for All, Digital India and Smart Cities will drive the growth in petrochemicals sector. “The Government of India has launched multiple initiatives which will spur significant growth in end markets such as automotive, infrastructure, electronics, construction and others. These initiatives represent a significant opportunity to boost petrochemical demand via increased consumption in traditional uses and development of new applications to replace existing material solutions,” stated the paper.
Pradhan said the government also intends to set up petrochemical clusters as per existing “market dynamics”. This would include two on East Coast, two on West Coast and South India. “Our refinery is in Panipat. The raw material from their goes to Goa, Daman and Diu, turns into polyester and returns back to Panipat and becomes textile. If this can be done inside one cluster, the value will be more.