In a bid to enhance the quality of salt production in Tamil Nadu, the Salt Commissionerate, along with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), will be working out a strategy to modernise salt pans in the State.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Deputy Salt Commissioner R S Kashyap said due to industrial salt consumers’ stringent specifications, the medium and small scale salt manufacturers in the State are facing difficulty in producing good quality salt because of their old layout salt works.
He said the India Salt Conclave 2014, which will be opened by Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Sudarsana Natchiappan on Saturday, would discuss quality upgradation, mechanisation and modernisation of salt pans in Tamil Nadu and other States.
He highlighted how Gujarat had enhanced its salt quality through mechanisation. Kashyap also highlighted that salt production in the medium and small salt manufacturing units in the State had been hit due to labour shortage.
“The plan is to make these units go in for modernisation,” said Kashyap.
Stating that India was expected to produce 40 million tonnes of salt by 2020, Kashyap said India, with a total salt production of over 25 million tonnes, was the third largest salt producing country after China and the United States. It exports 5 million tonnes of salt to Malaysia, North Korea, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world.
In India, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan contribute to about 96 per cent of the country’s salt production, he stated.
Kashyap also ruled out that salt production had been hit due to dearth of land. “We have 6.1 lakh acres of land across the country and salt is produced on only 60,000 acres,” said Kashyap and added that the government was contemplating to fortify salt with iron.
About 62 per cent of the total salt production is from large salt producers, while 28 per cent is contributed by smallscale producers and the rest by medium scale producers. Most of the salt is produced by private sector only.
India exported surplus salt to the tune of about 50 lakh tonnes on an average, earning a Foreign Exchange of `617 crore during 2012-13.