On November 20, 2019 the Union Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals has appointed Andhra Pradesh bureaucrat Rajat Bhargava, as the head of high level committee in suggesting initiatives for attracting more investments in the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIR) of the country. It is the 1st time the centre has seeked to amend PCPIR policy after it was introduced.
Report submission: The report is expected to be submitted in a fortnight after consultations with principal secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Gujarat.Key Points:
i.A high level meeting in Delhi under the secretary of chemicals and petrochemicals Shri Panambur Raghavendra Rao was held for discussing the proposed amendments to PCPIR policy which was put into place in 2007. It was in this meeting, Bhargava was selected to be the head of the panel.
- So far the centre has approved 4 PCPIR which are at Dahej (Gujarat), Visakhapatnam-Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Paradeep (Odisha) and Cuddalore- Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu). Apart from Dahej, other PCPIR have not taken off as envisaged over the years.
- VK PCIR investment: VK PCIR is the largest in the country with area 640 square kilometres. After remaining in cold storage for over 6 years, the AP govt. revived the VK PCPIR to attract investment of Rs 2 lakh crore under Master Plan 2031.
- Projects: As of now 2 big projects have been lined up for PCPIR Kakinada worth $15.72 billion.
- A refinery would be set up in the Kakinada Special Economic Zone(SEZ) by Haldia Petro Chemicals with investment worth $11.43 billion.
- Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) which is a joint venture of GAIL (formerly known as Gas Authority of India Limited) would also set up a greenfield refinery which is of 1.5million metric tonne per annum petrochemical complex. The investment worth is of $4.29.
About Department of Chemicals and Petro-Chemicals:
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Agency responsible- Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.