According to reports, industry in South India could suffer a ‘huge long-term disadvantage’ because of inadequate gas grid, according to B. Santhanam, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry – Southern Region.
Global trends clearly indicate a shift towards natural gas as a fuel for industry. Apart from its reputation as a clean fuel, increasing availability of natural gas resources and lowering costs is driving up the demand for the fuel.
The fuel can make a big difference to the competitiveness of the industry. Without a gas grid, South India could be left behind in industrial development. Over the next couple of years, gas will gain ground as the preferred fuel on costs and environmental benefit, he said addressing the annual press conference on the Confederation’s priorities for 2013-14.
Responding to a question on CII’s views on the Gail, gas pipeline work being stalled with the Tamil Nadu Government deciding that the gas pipeline cannot be laid across farm land and demanding that the line be laid along the National Highways, he said, “it is a complex issue that needs to be resolved.”
Advocating a gas grid, promoting renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency in industry and working towards energy security is a key feature of CII’s theme ‘accelerating growth.’ Increasing competitiveness in manufacturing, small and medium enterprises, skill development and sustainability; supporting growth of infrastructure; inclusive development; and social responsibility will be a feature of this push for growth.
To encourage the small industries sector, the CII plans to set up a technology development centre for robotics and automation and another centre for additive manufacturing, a technology that will save on raw material used in production.
CII is also planning to set up a Corporation Social Responsibility Exchange that will pool industries’ resources in CSR activities to scale up such activities. Education, healthcare, women and children development, infrastructure, innovation and affirmative action will be the focus areas of such activities, he said.