Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday stressed on innovation in packaging technology as a measure to boost exports.
Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, described packaging as a blend of art, aesthetics, science and technology and underlined the role played by the industry in economic development.
She was speaking at the Annual Convocation of the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) in the city.
"Asia is the biggest market for packaging material with a 41 per cent share, as compared to 22 per cent of Europe and 21 per cent of USA and the field offers immense opportunities for the students graduating from the Indian Institute of Packaging," she said.
Sitharaman urged the graduating students to form start-ups and innovate new packaging designs.
"Today is the age of start-ups. Groups of students can form start-ups, and with some support from government, can become entrepreneurs," she said.
The minister added that the Centre attaches immense importance to innovation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already announced government support to provide a launch-pad for start-ups.
She further said that while packaging was essential for all products, the wastage of packaging material was a matter of grave environmental concern.
She supported use of jute for packaging instead of man-made fibres wherever feasible. Sitharaman pointed out that her ministry would consider positively the proposal to make IIP an institute of national importance.
She also said that the government was fully geared to meet the challenges through exports on account of slowdown in the global economy.