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Plastics ban: 75 per cent units mull shifting out of Tamil Nadu
Investments may pour in for Tamil Nadu at the Global Investors Meet (GIM) in January next year, but by then, a multi-crore plastic industry would have exited the State, thanks to the plastic ban to be enforced by the government from January 2019
The ban on plastics has forced thousands of plastic manufacturing units to mull moving out of Tamil Nadu to neighbouring states. “States like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry Union Territory are in our priority list due to the availability of easy labour, land and other facilities. Almost 75 per cent of over 10,000 manufacturers are looking forward to shift,” said VK Balu, secretary of Tamil Nadu, Pondy Plastic Association.
Plastic manufacturers have already commenced on the groundwork by visiting other states to identify lands for setting up production units. “A cluster of units will come together to form an industrial estate and continue with our production of plastic. Plastic manufacturing units in Coimbatore and neighbouring districts have favoured moving over to Kanjikode Industrial Estate in Kerala, while those in Chennai are keen on shifting to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,” he added.
Plastic manufacturing units in Tamil Nadu already have an established clientele in those states and need not have to scout for customers. For instance, the manufacturing units in Coimbatore have taken crores worth of tenders to supply plastic items to Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation, better known as SUPPLYCO and the service can’t be stopped abruptly because of a ban in the home state. “With Tamil Nadu being a major producer of plastic among South Indian states, the industry generates a tax revenue of over Rs 1,000 crore annually to the state government,” said G Sankaran, president of Tamil Nadu Pondy Plastic Association.
Moving out of the state is a last resort for plastic manufacturers as industrialists are in talks with the government over the ban. “It is an onerous task to move to a newer territory. We have put forth our contention that the issue is not with the production of plastic, but about waste management. This could well be understood by the fact that many states which already enforced plastic bans were not successful,” an industrialist said.
Meanwhile, plastic manufacturers claim that they have already started feeling the heat, as many districts in TN have begun enforcing the ban ahead of the government’s announced time schedule.