25 years ago, Supreme Court of India ordered a complete ban on cutting of timber in the North-Eastern region of India and stated that it led to deforestation; hence ban is inevitable to save the nature and natural resources. Later on, SC formed CEC (Central Empowered Committee), for looking at timber licenses vis-a-vis the availability of timber in states. In this 25 years period, Indian Plywood manufacturing has registered approximately 25 times growth because the industry has shifted to Plantation Timber mainly Eucalyptus and Poplar in North India, Rubberwood in Kerala and Imported Hardwood at port based units such as Kolkata, Kandla, and some places in Southern India.
Till 2014 before Myanmar imposed ban on logs export, approx 15 percent market was belonging to hardwood, rest on Indigenous timber available in India. Since last 7 years, almost 100 percent Indian plywood manufacturing depend on short rotation plantation timber of 5 to 6 years age.
Now, Indian Plywood Industry has recently approached the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) and honestly explained that the standard and parameters mentioned on ISI of Plywood products are not qualified at present time because it was defined when industry sources forest timber, which is of 25 years and above lifespan. Industry seeks BIS to rectify the norms to maintain the serenity of plywood product for the benefit of customers and users. On the contrary, a group of technical experts believe that the present available timber for plywood manufacturing is not suitable for making good quality plywood, and they challenge that India produces compromised quality of plywood, which suffices only for economical grade furniture manufacturing..
On the other side, this claim has been totally denied by Indian Plywood producers because they have been boldly offering 10 years, 20 years, 25 years guaranteed plywood with 100%, 500%, 700% money back facilities. Consumers and users have reasons to have faith on guaranteed products, because they have seen them performing for years. And I believe that Indian Plywood industry has developed a suitable mechanism to produce high quality plywood products with available plantation timber, which is right product for making high-end furniture either in India or overseas. It is need of time that BIS must come with rectified norms and parameter to sync with international certificate requirement so that Make-In-India Plywood with available Plantation timber would maintain its goodwill among users globally.
This April issue of PLY REPORTER (www.plyreporter.com) has covered lots of news reports related to raw material prices hike and its availability, challenges and opportunities for producers, product launches, updates and innovation in wood panel and decorative industry and trade. There is an interaction with Mr. Jagdish Gupta, Managing Director, Stylam Industries Limited, which is a reflection of his vision to offer high end products to users. Lots of views of industry leaders and trade people have been covered in this issue, which will be a lot for readers to learn. While Covid cases are rising throughout India on one side, where as visionary wood panel brands are fearlessly working on future plans – we shall be reflecting on the same in our coming issues.
Visit the website of Ply Reporter and subscribe to get your own copy. Have a prosperous Financial Year ahead!
Rajiv Parashar (I appreciate your feedback. Write at email@example.com or SMS on 93106 12993