Industry urges competitive boost to packaging sector

Monday, 31 December 2007, 04:17 Hrs
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New Delhi: Indian packaging industry has huge potential but it is important to boost its competitiveness, a leading industry body has said.

"The Indian packaging industry is worth $18.8 billion with the average growth rate of more than 15 percent, and its linkages are extensive and highly employment creating," said the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) in a statement.

"Packaging is among the high-growth industries in India. A high degree of potential exists for almost all user segments which are expanding appreciably: processed foods, hard and soft drinks, fruit and marine products, drugs and pharmaceuticals, soaps and toiletries, cosmetics and personal care etc.," it added.

However, in order to give the sector a competitive boost both within India and globally, the chamber has suggested certain measures to the government.

One such measure would be providing tax concessions to the industry coupled with the lowering of import duties on packaging material and machinery, it said.

"Import duty on packaging machinery should be nil. Also, import duty on finished packaging materials needs to be reduced. This will help in developing newer and innovative packaging material for end users. It will also help in developing initial market for new technologies and concepts," the chamber added.

A favourable tax holiday would provide impetus for the development of the industry's research and development (R&D).

"R&D emphasis should be given in the newer technologies like active packaging and nano-technology - these being futuristic and path breaking in terms of value creation," Ficci said in the statement.

The industry is also reeling under the problems of skilled manpower shortage and low investment in R&D.

Ficci has recommended creating world-class manufacturing units and vocational institutes specifically designed for training skilled manpower required in the packaging industry.

There are as many as 700 packaging machinery manufacturers in India, the majority of which are in the small and medium sector located all over India, it said.
Source: IANS
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