Through a video message, Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of road transport & highways and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), told the stakeholders that the allocation for bamboo would help paper mills.
The paper industry has pinned hopes on emerging lifestyles and environment-friendly packaging to whip up the consumption of different types of paper by at least 35% by 2025. The immediate challenge for the industry, according to the stakeholders in paper industry, would be to absorb the latest cost-effective technologies, to meet this surge in demand.
“We expect an enormous leap in growth from present consumption of 18.5 million tonne to 25 million tonne by 2025, due to the emerging consumer trends which favour paper over non biodegradable options,” PG Mukundan, secretary general, Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA), told FE.
“With the rapid growth of e-commerce, online purchases have become common, triggering the consumption of paper packaging material. Secondly, hygiene concerns have been bringing paper tissues and napkins to the fore, often replacing cotton kitchen towels, handkerchiefs etc. This would fuel paper industry growth,” he said.
Paperex, Asia’s largest conference on pulp and paper technology, organised by Inpaper International, the journal of Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA), in New Delhi, is focussed on the theme of technologies to accelerate the process to replace single use plastic with paper and paperboard.
The irony, however, is that the paper consumption growth is higher in Asia and some of the Latin American countries, while in Europe, the growth has shifted to a plateau. “Growth in paper industry is moving from developed world to the developing world,” Harshpati Singhania, founder President of Indian Paper Manufactures Association (IPMA) and Managing Director, JK Paper noted at the conference. From last year, India has been maintaining its lead as the world’s fastest growing paper market.
“Government has been urging the consumers to reduce single-use plastics. Paper industry needs to develop innovative solutions to meet the rising demand,” Singhania added.
Through a video message, Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of road transport & highways and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), told the stakeholders that the allocation for bamboo would help paper mills. “Government of India has sanctioned Rs 1,300 crore towards Bamboo Mission. With bamboo we can make different types of paper. If we increase the use of bamboo, it can be a win-win for the paper industry and the farmers,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, IPMA reiterated its continuing grouse that Indian paper companies do not enjoy a level playing field with other paper producing countries where input cost is relatively much lesser and thus suffer enormous import threats.
The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of paper imports in the last eight years, in value terms has been as high as 13%, growing from Rs 3,411 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 9,134 crore in 2018-19.