The Indian paper industry accounts for about 3% of the world’s production of paper. The estimated turnover of the industry is INR 50,000 crore (USD 8 billion) approximately and its contribution to the exchequer is around INR 4,500 crore. The industry provides employment to more than 0.5 million people directly and 1.5 million people indirectly.
Most of the paper mills are in existence for a long time and hence present technologies fall in a wide spectrum ranging from oldest to the most modern. The mills use a variety of raw material viz. wood, bamboo, recycled fibre, bagasse, wheat straw, rice husk, etc. In terms of share in total production, approximately 24% are based on wood, 65% on recycled fibre and 11% on agro-residues. The geographical spread of the industry as well as market is mainly responsible for regional balance of production and consumption.
The per capita paper consumption in India at a little over 13 kg, is way behind the global average of 57 kg.
India is the fastest growing market for paper globally and it presents an exciting scenario; paper consumption is poised for a big leap forward in sync with the economic growth. The futuristic view is that growth in paper consumption would be in multiples of GDP and hence an increase in consumption by one kg per capita would lead to an increase in demand of 1 million tonnes.