Chemical sector in Gujarat has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns, so much so that thousands of units have had to shut down and many others are struggling severely. Especially the MSME sector, which makes up for more than 95% of the units, is going through a rough time.
According to sources, nearly 3,600 MSME units in the sector have closed their operations. Many others have cut down their hours or production capacity. It is believed that after Covid, when the operations restarted, units were unable to take a path to recovery due to unavoidable factors. The rising prices of raw materials, fuel as well as transportation, and logistics have impacted the industry severely.
Chemical sector in the state is mainly involved with dyestuff, paints, fine chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. As such, sodium nitrite is one of the main raw materials for the industry. In the past year, the price of this ingredient has increased by more than 280%. Price of all the raw materials has been hiked by around 400%. This is the situation that the industry is currently facing.
The poor condition of the chemical industry has trickled down to the common effluent treatment plants (CETPs). The CETPs that were once working all day long, are now operating just for 12 hours. This shows that the quantity of discharge from the chemical sector has gone down as the production has reduced.
Gujarat Chemical Association (GCA) has revealed that it would be holding a national conference on June 18, to highlight the problems of the chemical sector in the state.