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Plastindia Foundation Seeks Lower Duty on Polymer

BUDGET 2023: Plastindia Foundation seeks lower duty on polymer import and higher on finished plastic products in Union Budget 2023-24 to support the domestic plastic industry.

Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present the Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24. Plastindia Foundation is hopeful that the hon’ble Finance Minister will frame the Budget keeping in mind the overall growth and development of the entire plastic industry – from raw materials, and converter to machinery manufacturers. Plastindia Foundation’s motto is to put the Indian plastic industry on a high growth path – from $5 trillion in 2025 to an ambitious $25 trillion by 2045.

To drive this growth and to make India the global sourcing hub for plastic, Plastindia Foundation wholeheartedly supports the Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives. However, we need support from the government to make this a reality:

  • The import duty on polymer should be between 5-7.5 per cent. India does not produce enough polymer and import is inevitable. Import duty on polymer needs to be lowered to make the Indian plastic industry more competitive.
  • Custom duty on the finished plastic product should be a minimum of 20 per cent or more, to support the domestic plastic processing industry.
  • The government is focusing on renewable energy, and this presents an opportunity for the plastic industry. However, at present 90 per cent of the components for solar panels and windmills are imported and the products are only assembled in India. To encourage the local manufacturers, the custom duty on the import of components like EVA, back sheet, metal frame, solar glass etc should be at least 20 per cent. The plastic industry can play an important role in manufacturing EVA and back sheets.

To promote industrialisation in India, I would also request the hon’ble Finance Minister to consider the following:

  • Make uninterrupted power available at less than Rs 5 per unit.  India has a high electricity rate and power fluctuation is also very high. This rate is at par with neighbouring countries that make uninterrupted power available to their industries at a low cost.
  • India should have a free labour law. However, the wages should not be so high that it makes the manufacturing industry globally uncompetitive. Labour law should come under the purview of the Central Government and wages across the country – in tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities – should be uniform.
  • GST should not be higher than 12 per cent across product categories.
  • Government should make land acquisition easy by identifying non-agricultural zones of land. Land from those zones should be made available easily without industries having to go through the formality of converting agricultural land to non-agricultural land. Also, the Government should start a new formula wherein developed land should be made available to industries on a long-term lease. This will significantly lower the investment in land and make Indian industries globally competitive. Currently, the price of land is so high that project costs have skyrocketed. China has been using this formula for a very long time.
  • Easy finance at reasonable interest rates from both banks and NBFCs should be made available to the industry.
  • Compliances should be kept at a minimum. Also, if there are any technical errors in following these compliances then they should be handled by a separate court. It should not be treated as criminal activity.

Overall, we are expecting a budget that is industry-friendly and makes the domestic plastic industry more dynamic and globally competitive.

Jigish Doshi, President
Plastindia Foundation

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