Construction chemicals industry as enabler for smart cities
Surjit Kumar Chaudhary, Secretary, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, has called upon the construction chemical industry to market its products and work as an organised sector. He added that the government would act as a facilitator but the industry had to promote itself to change people's perception. The industry being disintegrated, he said, was not being promoted appropriately.
While delivering the inaugural address at the sixth national conference on Construction Chemicals 2015 on the theme 'Construction Chemicals Industry as Enabler for Smart Cities' organised by FICCI in association with the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India, in New Delhi on May 8, 2015, Chaudhary pointed out that the biggest challenge for the industry was environmental compliance and assured that his department was working relentlessly with the Ministry of Environment to resolve the issue keeping a balanced approach.
He said that the domestic industry was unable to keep pace with the demand, hence twothirds of the construction chemicals was being imported. Chaudhary urged the industry to turn this challenge into an opportunity and suggested that the gap should be bridged by local construction chemicals manufacturers. Meanwhile, he added that the government was addressing the issue of FTAs and inverted duty structure.
Quoting the example of discouraging use of plastics, Chaudhary said that plastic was an integral part of all our activities. The inappropriate disposal of plastic was the main cause of concern, hence if use and disposal of plastic was rightly promoted then it could become a game changer for India's growth story. He added that the right use of plastic in agriculture could enhance productivity significantly.
On the occasion, Chaudhary released a 'Knowledge & Strategy Paper on Construction Chemicals'.
Mukesh Malhotra, Co-chairman, FICCI Chemical Committee and Country Manager, Solvay, said industry felt that FTAs were having a negative impact on business, and created an 'inverted duty structure' making it cheaper to import a finished product rather than manufacturing or assembling it in India. Hence the government needs to focus on these issues to encourage domestic production for enabling creation of smart cities.
While making a presentation on 'Young entrepreneurship perspective on construction chemicals', Dr. Gopal Rai, CEO, R&M International Pvt. Ltd., said that the key to success for this sector was R&D, practical on site demonstration, access to global experts, destruction demonstration live test and publication of success stories in form of case studies. He added that curriculum should treat construction chemicals as a specialised engineering and use of construction chemicals should be encouraged as it could be implemented speedily.
In his presentation, Dr. Surendra Manjrekar, Chairman & Managing Director, Sunanda Specialty Coatings Pvt. Ltd., said that a task force of experts should be constituted to chart the road map for creating 100 smart cities in the country. He added that smart construction chemicals could well assist in enabling smart cities as the sector offered sustainable and durable products.
In his vote of thanks, Dr. S Hariharan, CEO, Solaris Chemtech Ltd., said that with the rapid urbanisation taking place in the country, the construction chemicals industry was expected to grow at a CAGR of 20 per cent. Hence, it was necessary for industry to work in tandem to reap the benefits of this growth.
Surjit Kumar Chaudhary, Secretary, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals (centre), releasing 'Knowledge & Strategy Paper on Construction Chemicals'.