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Plastics sector looks to enhance exports

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(G.N.S) Dt. 28
Mumbai
Plastic manufacturers in India are examining ways to increase exports overcoming the strong headwinds they have been facing, industry officials said. Though India has big manufacturers like Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), they account for less than 1% market share in the more than $800 billion global exports market for plastics. However, efforts are on to grow this base.
“Our council, along with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has worked on a strategy to increase the country’s plastic exports as the $800-billion global export market presents a huge opportunity,” said Pradip Thakkar, chairman, The Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL), which represents the exporting community in the Indian plastics industry. “Post Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduction, we have taken up important issues and concerns of members with the concerned ministry for remedial action in terms of fast-tracking of IGST refunds, exemption of merchant exporters from GST on procurement against bond or Letter of Undertaking (LUT),” he said. In the first six months of the current financial year, India exported plastics worth $3.49 billion as compared with the $3.19 billion reported during the first six months of the previous financial year, registering an increase of 9.5%. In the current financial year, plastic exports were expected to grow by 6% from $7.56 billion in 2016-17 to $8 billion and PLEXCONCIL was confident that this target would be surpassed, officials added. India exports plastics to more than 185 countries with the United States and China being some of the major importers.
Fragmented industry, Though the industry offers huge growth potential due to low labour cost and availability of skilled manpower, the fragmented nature of the industry is hindering growth. Slower adoption of newer technologies, mainly by the MSME sector, is adding to the problem. “The industry is dominated by the MSME sector, particularly the small scale industry, which urgently requires government support in the form of Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) to replace their obsolete machines,” the Council said. To increase exports, the council had asked the Ministry of Commerce to grant transport subsidy for manufacturer-exporters located in the North-Eastern States who currently face very high transportation costs of raw material from port to factory and vice versa. Various other recommendations have been made to the Ministry by the council to remove huddles, officials said

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