Paper consumption set to double in India by 2015

Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Consumption of paper in India is set to double from the current 7 million tonnes per annum in the next eight years, according to Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA).

The industry growth, pegged now at 7-8 percent annually, will double thanks to socio-economic development, increasing literacy rates and increased government spending on education.

"The growth in paper is inevitable and is likely to contribute significantly to the government's target of achieving an overall growth of 12 percent in manufacturing. Unfortunately, the rising cost of raw materials, primarily wood and wood products, are a big challenge facing the industry," Narayan Moorthy, secretary general, IPMA said in a statement.

The body also pointed out that globally countries like Brazil and Thailand are able to procure raw material at a cheaper rate due to conducive agro policies, unlike in India.

The cost of wood in India is $50 a tonne compared to $22 and $30 in Brazil and Thailand respectively. This, according to IPMA, creates a gap between demand and supply.

The high cost and sparse availability of raw materials has stalled any new project aimed at enhancing paper manufacturing in India for last of couple of decades.

"The Indian paper industry is pleading for access to degraded lands in a radius of 100-150 km around manufacturing facilities for it to grow pulpable varieties of trees to create sound raw material base," Moorthy said.

"The concept of captive plantation which industry is submitting is based on rotational planting and harvesting to ensure that once planted the entire area remains green in perpetuity along with generating employment and enabling the wood-based industry to become globally competitive."
Source: IANS
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