PAPER MAKERS INDIA
The Indian Paper Industry accounts for about 1.6% of the world’s production of paper and paperboard. The estimated turnover of the industry is Rs 35,000 crore (USD 7 billion) approximately and its contribution to the exchequer is around Rs. 3000 crore (USD 0.6 billion). The industry provides employment to more than 0.37 million people directly and 1.3 million people indirectly. The industry was delicenced effective from July, 1997 by the Government of India; foreign participation is permissible. Most of the paper mills are in existence for a long time and hence present technologies fall in a wide spectrum ranging from oldest to the most modern. The mills use a variety of raw material viz. wood, bamboo, recycled fibre, bagasse, wheat straw, rice husk, etc.; approximately 35% are based on chemical pulp, 44% on recycled fibre and 21% on agro-residues. The geographical spread of the industry as well as market is mainly responsible for regional balance of production and consumption. The operating capacity of the industry currently stands at 12.75 million tons. During this fiscal year, domestic production of paper and paperboard is estimated to be 10.11 million tons. As per industry guesstimates, over all paper consumption (including newsprint) has now touched 11.15 million tons and per capita consumption is pegged at 9.3 kg. Demand of paper has been hovering around 8% for some time. So far, the growth in paper industry has mirrored the growth in GDP. India is the fastest growing market for paper globally and it presents an exciting scenario; paper consumption is poised for a big leap forward in sync with the economic growth and is estimated to touch 13.95 million tons by 2015-16. The futuristic view is that growth in paper consumption would be in multiples of GDP and hence an increase in consumption by one kg per capita would lead to an increase in demand of 1 million tons.
|The increasing demand for paper brings with
it new challenges of economies of scale, efficient usage of resources,
need to develop and expand sustainable use of fibre, and value chain
management, etc. Despite the fact that the Indian Paper Industry holds
its importance to the national economy, unfortunately it stands
Paper sector is dominated by small and medium size units; number of mills of capacity 50000 tons per annum or more is not more than 25. Less than half a dozen mills account for almost 90% production of newsprint in the country. There is a growing need to modernize the Indian mills, improve productivity and build new capacities.
|In India, the paper industry is primarily rural based with close linkages with farming community. Over the years it has evolved into an agro-based industry from its earlier character of a forest-based industry.|
|Myth and The Reality:
While all pervading myth that continues to slur the image of the
industry is that it perpetually uses forest raw material and
consequently denudes natural forests of the country, the truth is that
over the last decade, industry led farm/social forestry have brought
around 0.5 million hectares under pulp wood plantations, mainly degraded
marginal lands of farmers. At the current estimate, wood based segment
of the industry uses 80 per cent of the total requirement from farm
produced wood. In particular, IPMA member mills have been actively
promoting agro forestry with private land holders/farmers to meet
imminent raw material needs in a sustainable manner thereby, positively
impacting the Greening India mission of the Government. Also, the
industry initiative has created major employment in the remote areas in
close proximity to the manufacturing facilities thereby, helping rural
Global Scenario: Globally, paper industry has realized a linkage between production of paper and the farming community thereby infusing huge capital in agricultural economy. The USA, Latin America, Scandinavian countries, Australia, Japan and neighboring Asian countries viz. China, Indonesia etc. all have been quick to create conducive land use/forestry policies to encourage large-scale production plantations and attract mega investments in pulp and paper/paperboard manufacturing and in the process creating millions of jobs.
India Imperative: In order to replicate success stories of major global players in the field of Production/ Industrial Plantation, IPMA continues to advocate for atleast 2% access to degraded forestland on lease. It is IPMA’s firm belief that besides facilitation of social/farm forestry on private/revenue waste lands, if paper mills are permitted to grow pulpable wood in the radius of 150- 200 KMs to their facilities on the available degraded forest land as well, it would hugely help mills to achieve cost competitiveness in terms of wood and freight and would also, help generate employment, create wealth for the rural poor and lend protection to environment. In this context, IPMA has pleaded for adoption of Multi Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) model propounded by MoEF for afforestation of degraded land.