REACH has come to stay. How are Indian Chemical industries coping up with this new legislation that will require stringent compliance?
ICC is playing a key role in educating chemical industry on the ramifications of REACH. It is coordinating actively with the Government of India to facilitate information dissemination and ensure compliance from side of the industry. Help desks are being set up all across the country especially in chemical industry dominated areas including Gujarat. A think tank has been formed and ICC is playing a pivotal role in coordinating activities including GLP. Agencies like SGS Ltd. and Jay Research Foundation are being roped in serving these efforts.
How is CWC programme of ICC coming up and what kind of have on the functioning of the Indian chemical industries?
The CWC program of ICC has been most successfully implemented in Gujarat. A number of seminars have been held over the past 3 years to educate industry on ramifications of CWC as well as inform them of the different categories falling under the CWC. ICC has been extremely active in getting its members to comply and has worked closely with Government of India to facilitate this. As part of these efforts a major function will be held in Baroda in December 2007 to inform the industry on audit procedures and the specific compliance issues where a wide participation from national and international is expected.
How is ICC addressing the environmental issues and what efforts have so far been taken to ensure adherence to environmental safeguards and other related compliance matters?
ICC is at the forefront of encouraging its members to comply and has proactively introduced the Responsible Care Program, which has now got GSFC, GACL, Alembic and Heubach Colour Pvt. Ltd. desiring to receive the logo . Companies such as Tata Chemicals, United Phosphorous Ltd., Bihar Caustic & Chemicals, SRF Ltd. , Rohm & Haas Pvt. Ltd., S.I Group India Ltd., SRF Ltd. and Supreme Petrochem Ltd. have already received it. ICC Gujarat launched Responsible Care Program on 22nd December 2006 and is already in the process of auditing a large public sector unit in the state and number of other companies has signed up for the audit in the near future. 'The Best Responsible Care Committed Company Award' has been instituted and is considered by its members to be most prestigious award to be attained. ICC regularly holds seminar for waste reduction, energy conservation, and clean management considers the environmental issues as top of their agenda.
What is the level of satisfaction among the Indian chemical industries as regards country’s exports and imports policies?
The country’s exports of chemical goods are far too small as compared to its size and potential. Infrastructure bottlenecks, lack of global size, inadequate concentration on R&D, all contribute to this low level of exports. There is an upward movement and one of the key contributions for the future could well be the SEZ program of the Government along with the PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemical & Petrochemicals Investment Region). This would create a huge amount of activity with a cluster growth of specific chemistry oriented industries located in an infrastructure, which stimulates growth and takes away the bottlenecks and irritants. Needless to say that there still exists bottlenecks of infrastructure like roads, power, R&D facilities, analytical laboratories which still needs to be addressed and areas of huge concern is the shortage of manpower and urgent need of recognizing and forecasting the need of Industry in the next 20 years. Here we run the risk of having missed the boat and urgently need to make up by providing high quality educational institutions at affordable prices to churn out millions of people required for the growth which is already occurring and continues to occur provided, it is fueled by the most important ingredient and unique strength of industry (skilled and educated manpower). This advantage cannot be allowed to be fritted away.
Many foreign players are setting base in India posting potential threat to the domestic chemical industry. How will or should Indian chemical industry mitigate the competitive effects in such a situation?
Foreign players setting base in India do post some threat to the local industry. However, the benefits far outweigh the risks. India no longer should and needs to protect its local industry, which in any case needs to compete globally. In fact, foreign players can push the local industry to become more efficient and optimize its operations. In the end it still would be a case of efficient, global sized companies being successful rather than foreign or Indian .
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