The chemical industry in one of the oldest domestic industries in India, contributing significantly to both the industrial and economic growth of the country since it achieved independent in 1947. The wide and diverse spectrum of products can be broken down into a number of categories, including inorganic and organic chemicals, drugs and pharmaceutical, plastics and petrochemicals, dyes and pigments, fine and specially chemicals pesticides and agro-chemical, and fertilizers.
The Indian pesticide industry had advanced significantly in recent years, producing more than 1000 tones of pesticides annually. India is the 13th largest exporter of pesticides and disinfectants in the worlds and in terms of volume is the 12th largest producer of chemicals.
The items, which require compulsory license are Hydrocyanic acid and its derivatives; Phosgene and its derivatives; Naptha/Gas cracker complexes producing and its ethylene, propylene, aromatic complexes manufacturing benzene, toluene & xylenses- o-xylene, ethylene oxide and polyethylene having a specific gravity of less than 0.94.
Policy for foreign direct investments facilities approval through automatic route. The following categories of FDI proposal are only approved through foreign investment promotion board. All proposal that require industrial licence includes, the items requiring an industrial licence under the IDR Act, 1951; all items which require industrial licence in terms of locational policy notified by government under the new industrial policy. All proposals relating to acquisition of shares in existing Indian company in favour of a foreign/NRI/OCB investor. All proposals failing outside sectoral policy/caps or under sectors in which FDI is not permitted and/or whenever any investor chooses to make an application to the FIPB an not to avail of the automatic route.
The petrochemicals industry in India had indeed made remarkable progress. In the initial years, the growth was mainly import—driven. As a result of the pioneering role of the public sector Indian petrochemicals corporation limited and the growth opportunities particularly in the polymers and fibers segments, several private entrepreneurs are now in the field. As for polymers or plastics consumption, it took over the 40 years from 1950 to 1990 for the country to reach the consumption level of 1 million tones.
It contrast, during the last seven years or so, the consumption of polymers and plastics increased by more than a million tones. Petrochemicals are no longer considered an elitist material. They serve to effect cost and energy saving. What is more, they find wide application in the domestic and industrial sectors. Synthetic rubber supplements natural rubber. Engineering plastics have substituted scare metals.
It is, however, in plastics that the revolution is on a grand scale. With their versatile applications plastics are in every home, office and public place. Metal buckets are now replaced by light weight, multicolor, better-looking products, glass milk bottles have been replaced by cheaper and easily manageable pouches, wooden crates for cold drinks have been substituted by plastic crates and wood and steel chairs have given way to chairs made of polypropylene. The crux is that plastics are and will remain an integral part of human existence.