Paper Industry In India
- March 29, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Paper Industry In India
Section: Economic Geography
Context- A Kolkata-based paper industry analyst said prices have increased “exorbitantly” from ₹50-55 a kg before the Covid-19 pandemic set in.
About Paper Industry:
- The pulp and paper industry comprises companies that use wood as raw material and produce pulp, paper, paperboard, and other cellulose-based products.
- The pulp and paper industry is one of the largest industries in the world. It is dominated by North American, Northern European, and East Asian countries. Latin America and Australasia also have significant pulp and paper industries.
- Over the next few years, it is expected that both India and China will become the key countries in the industry’s growth.
Paper Industry in India:
- Though the art of papermaking was introduced in India by Muslim rulers during the 10th century, it was flourishing as a cottage industry only.
- The first modern paper mill of course was established in 1832 at Serampore (West Bengal) which could not survive and the industry made a beginning again in 1870 at Ballygaunj( Royal Bengal paper mills) near Calcutta.
- The small sector accounts for 50% of the installed capacity and of production of paper in the country.
- Raw material: The location of the paper industry is dependent on the availability of bamboo, softwood. E.g. South Gujarat, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh
- Supply of abundant coal: Energy requirement and total transport cost of coal offset the disadvantage of the dearth of raw materials.
- Paper manufacturing started in Bengal due to the availability of coal.
- Nearness to the market: Some of the paper mills are located near the market where cheap labour is also available.
- For example, in Kolkata where raw material is brought from the North Eastern States. Here cheap labour, coal, water is readily available.
- Water Supply: The paper/pulp mills require clean water free from chemicals/pollutants. This is one of the reason why they are set up near forest locations away from polluted rivers.
Manufacturing of Paper:
- Paper is manufactured in 2 stages in India:
- First Stage: Pulp is extracted from cellulose raw material: In 1st stage gross raw materials is required due to which pulp manufacturing units are located in the midst of cellulose producing areas.
- Second Stage: Pulp is pressed to from paper: In 2nd stage pulp is the raw material and therefore, paper units can be located near urban markets.
- Pulp is drawn from variety of sources like wood, bamboo, sabai/salai grass, bagasse, and crop straw.
- Hence paper industry is widely distributed across different regions in India.
Advantages of the Indian paper industry:
- As compared to the western countries growth cycle of Indian tropical forests is 6 to 7 years whereas the growth of conifers of the west requires 50 years.
- Labour is cheap in India as compared to the Western world. Besides that Indian manpower of this industry is well trained and produces good quality paper with relatively low manpower cost.
- India being the largest producer of sugarcane holds huge potential in this regard.