Role of Petroleum products and Chemicals in Indian Economic Development
The chemical industry is one of the oldest and most diversified industrial sectors in India. The industry plays a significant role in the overall economic development of a country.
The domestic chemical industry contributes about three per cent to the India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The total industry size is estimated to be close to USD of thirty five billion, and accounts for about fifteen per cent in the general Index of Industrial Production (IIP). The industry accounts for about fifteen per cent and ten percent of the total exports and total imports respectively. Although India ranks twelfth in the world and third in Asia for production of chemicals by volume yet the per capita consumption of products is about one tenth of the world average.
In the last fifteen years, the Indian chemical industry has transformed from being just a basic chemical producer to producer of innovative products. Continuous investments in R&D have enabled the industry to register significant growth in the knowledge sector. Knowledge sector comprises of specialty chemicals, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Some of the key sectors of the chemical industry are:
- In the petroleum sector, BIRD has vast experience in every petroleum product be it MS, LDO, HSD, SKO, FO, LSHS, Lube, Natural Gas, LPG, Bitumen, coke.
- It has wide client base in entire petroleum sector including IOC, HPCL, BPCL, CPCL, NRL, GAIL, Reliance, BP, Shell, Caltex, Esso, Mobil, Castrol, Elf, Pennzoil.
- It has tremendous understanding & insights into the sector based on the past studies.
- It has used many research techniques and understood their utility in different contexts.
Even though India became an independent country in 1947, it is in the last two and a half decades that India’s foreign policy has placed special emphasis on economic relations with various foreign countries.
The first initial steps towards liberalising the Indian economy were taken in the 1980s by the then Prime Minister and his government. However, several major problems still remained and blocked India from achieving a global trading status. There were problems arising from bureaucratic regulations and the Indian businessman had to meet the requirements of a protected domestic market not yet under global standards of quality or competition. As a result, the demands on Indian foreign economic policy were also limited. At this point in time, it was India’s traditional items-such as jewellery and textiles-that were competitive in the world market.
Following the economic reforms initiated in 1991, India’s economy was thrown open for active trade and economic relations with foreign countries. These reforms opened up the economy to world trade and all successive governments since then have carried forward this economic reform agenda with success. The end of the License Raj and the implementation of pro-market reforms have had far reaching implications for India’s industrial structure. Significant sectors of the economy were opened up for private participation.
Thirty eight technologies having licensed capacity around 25 million tonnes per annum have been transferred to the industry. Almost every refinery in the country has technologies licensed by the institute. Test techniques have been developed for evaluation of petroleum products included in BIS specifications. Global tie-ups have been established for contract research and technical services.
IIP has filed 185 patents in India and 29 patents abroad. PhD degrees have been awarded to about fifty research fellows and scientists of the institute by universities.
Now let us turn to some issues relating to India’s largest trading partners. According to the Ministry of Commerce, India’s top three trading partners by individual countries are the People’s Republic of China, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates. Altogether, these three countries make up almost 25% of India’s total trade for 2013-14. We have a trade surplus with the US, a large trade deficit with China, and a balanced trade relationship with the UAE. It should be noted that in recent years India has run persistently large current account deficits (above 4% of GDP), and this has given policy makers a new and difficult challenge. Policy makers have recently come to the conclusion that persistently high current account imbalances contribute to instability in the global economy. This is particularly true for the Indian economy which relies heavily on capital inflows (FDI, FPI) to finance its current account deficit. The restrictions placed last year on gold and gold product imports are an attempt by policymakers to deal with this problem.
While import licensing for capital goods and intermediates was abolished early in 1991-93, quantitative restrictions on imports of manufactured consumer goods and agricultural products were removed almost a decade later. This was done partly because of a ruling by the WTO dispute panel on a complaint brought by the USA. Financial sector reforms were also initiated and have increased the efficiency of resource mobilisation and allocation in the economy and overall macroeconomic stability. As a result, the Indian economy is today inherently strong and globally competitive, though there is room for improvement in this regard. There is always room for improvement in such an important sphere as our country’s economy. After import licensing was abolished in many sectors of the economy, import duties were also sharply reduced, and many restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) were lifted. New firms emerged and many Indian firms established an international presence in the global economy.
An ISO 9001 certified institute, IIP develops processes and products for petroleum refining and petrochemical industries, training of personnel in oil and petrochemical industries, and assisting in formulation of standards for petroleum products. The institute acquired the ISO 9001certification in 1998.
About 132 of its research staff are R&D scientists supported by 208 technical personnel. It is equipped with R&D facilities including pilot plants. The annual budget of the institute is around 25 crores. The institute is recognized by over 14 universities to conduct research leading to Doctorate degree.
- Production of food grade hexane by using nmp technology 2001.
- Lube oil base stock (lobs) production through nmp 2000.
- Propane deasphalting 1999.
- Visbreaking technology 1998.
- Sulfolane production technology 1997.
- Business development and technology marketing 1996.
- Low air pressure film burner 1994.
- Food grade hexane 1993.
- Bimetallic Pt-Re reforming catalyst 1992.
- Production of benzene/toluene through sulfolane extraction 1990.
- 1990 Young Scientist.
- 1993 Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ficci).
- Excellence in science and technology 1993.
- Production of benzene/toluene through sulpholane extraction 1986.
Indian Chemical Manufacturers Association (ICMA)
Production of benzene/toluene through sulpholane extraction 1985.