Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Nitin Gadkari today said it is time for the country to go for alternative fuel sources such as ethanol, methanol and bio-diesel. He was speaking at the inauguration of India Chem 2018 - the 10th Biennial International Exhibitions and Conference - Chemical and Petrochemicals - Advantage India, in Mumbai today. Stressing on the importance of alternative fuels, the Minister said that ethanol is the future and government has decided to increase its production. The Cabinet has given approval to finance ethanol factories. The Minister said that the country needs to reduce its imports and increase exports and new initiatives for import substitution are very important and need to be supported.India Chem 2018 is the largest event of Chemicals and Petrochemical Industry in India, jointly organised by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India and FICCI. India Chem 2018 is being held from October 04 – 06, 2018 in Mumbai.Delivering his address on the occasion, Shri Gadkari said that India is the fastest growing large economy and those investing in India will have a huge advantage. He said, India is doing well in technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and R&D and that a lot of new research is happening through which India can work miracles in the world. Particularly in petrochemicals, India has huge potential but we need to be cost-effective and pollution-free. The Minister spoke of the importance of ecology and environment, and highlighted that bio-plastics can be made from ethanol.
Organic plastics can give a new vision for the petrochemicals industry, he said.Speaking about the importance of diversification in agriculture towards the needs of the energy and power sector, Shri Gadkari said that new crops have to be identified. The Minister exhorted the industry to explore the possibility of using agricultural material for making chemicals, which he said can be a great game changer for the country.On the occasion, the Minister released India Chem 2018 knowledge paper.Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Shri P. Raghavendra Rao said that chemical and petrochemical production, start-up culture, ease of doing business and innovation are the factors because of which India is a global destination for investment. The chemicals and petrochemicals industry has been growing at 6.2%, he added.“Chemical industry is growing rapidly due to the positive reforms undertaken by the Government of India. Between 2014 and 2018, net import of chemicals has grown at 5.8% in volume and is projected to reach US$ 304 billion by 2025. Government of India is very conscious of the positive role that the chemical industry plays for the welfare of the society. The industry has grown significantly in recent years and is a major employment generator with Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector playing a major role.”, the Secretary said.The most important objective behind organizing the India Chem series is to highlight the investment possibilities in the country's chemical industry and give a fillip to "Make in India" initiative of the Government of India. A congregation of over 300 leading chemical and petrochemical companies from all over the world predominantly from Iran, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Spain, USA, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Turkey and South East Asian countries are participating as exhibitors, delegates and visitors.