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Centre to come out with new chemical policy soon

AHMEDABAD: To provide a push to the 'sagging' chemical sector, the Centre would come out with a new chemical policy soon, a top official in Department of Chemical and Petrochemical said here today. 

The sector's contribution to 
GDP has come down to 1.9 per cent from the highs of 2-3 per cent, he said adding that the policy will throw open new initiatives for the sector. 

"We are coming out with a new chemical policy covering all aspects of the industry including imports, exports, patents, R&D, innovations," 
Joint Secretary Department of Chemicals andPetrochemicals Ajay Vara Prasad told PTI. 

"... it also covers basic and speciality chemicals, knowledge intensive technologies," he said adding the policy draft will be placed in public domain in the next few months. 

"Once the 
Government of India approves, it will open up a lot of new initiatives for the sector," Prasad said on the sidelines of the curtain raiser ceremony of the-3rd edition of India Chem Gujarat to be held in Gandhinagar from October 24-26 on the theme 'Green Chemistry'. 

Around seven international companies are expected to participate in the expo. 

"We are expecting 11 per cent growth in the industry, against around 5 per cent now ... we want to double it," Prasad said, referring to the policy push. 

The chemical sector growth has come down from the earlier highs of 15 per cent, he said adding that the challenge is to take back the production levels to the order of over Rs 3 lakh crore. 

As per estimates, chemicals and petrochemicals, with a annual turnover of USD 108 billion, contributes significantly to 
the national economy. 

There are around 70,000 chemical units in India. The sector accounts for nearly one eighth of India's industrial production and one sixth of the country's exports of manufactured goods, as per government estimates. 

Incidentally, Gujarat accounts for about 50 per cent of the total chemical production in the country.