The government on Friday said it is planning to set up 'reverse SEZs' in various countries to make certain chemicals available at affordable prices.
“We are planning to set up reverse SEZs in countries like Iran and Myanmar. This will target the availability of certain chemicals easily and at affordable prices,” Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar told reporters here at the launch of India Chem 2014, organised by FICCI.
The minister said he will take up the matter with the ministries of external affairs and finance within a month.
Kumar also said the government will form steering committees for four investment regions — Dahej, Paradeep, Nagpattanam and Visakhapatanam.
“We will constitute these four steering committees in about a month. These committees will boost investments in these regions to the tune of R7.2 lakh crore and generate 34 lakh jobs,” the minister said.
India, a leading player in the chemicals and fertiliser sector, should strive to be among the top five, he said.
“At present, India is at number 12 globally. China is in number one position. We should target to be among the top five global players so that we compete with China equally. I am confident we can easily achieve it,” he said.
Kumar also said that government will take steps and may provide incentives in the forthcoming budget to boost the chemical and petrochemicals industry.
Asked about concerns over fertiliser prices, the minister ruled out any hike in prices. “We are not going to increase the fertiliser prices. The fertiliser prices will be monitored,” he said.
National pool pricing for fertiliser companies needs to be considered, which will keep gas prices at nominal levels, Kumar said.
For availability of ethanol for the chemical industry the government has requested Indian Chemical Council (ICC) to submit a paper to the ministry, he said.