The Past
In India, plywood has been in use for some decades now, predominantly as construction and furniture material. The plywood manufacturers, essentially timber merchants and manufacturers, have so far encountered no obstacles in procuring their natural material, namely, wood. But, of late, the availability of wood has become an issue due to paucity and government regulations against deforestation.
The Present
In the North Eastern part of India, where there were dense forests and abundance of wood until recently, government has prohibited the cutting of wood in the forests due to environmental purposes. As an outcome, the factories have faced difficulties and some of them have closed down. Other factories there, and in some other regions, have been importing timber. Another reason for importing timber is that even if you cut the wood from the forests with the sanction of the authorities, it is an expensive proposition now and importing timber has become an economical option. 
In the rest of the country, particularly in the Central, Western and Southern regions, where other principal manufacturers have their production units, the condition is not so hazardous. The units carry on with their production activities, either with native or imported timber. The production output may have come down a little.
The Future
When challenged with the question of the future, they are not perturbed greatly. They say that even if there are alternatives, it is going to take at least 25 to 30 years for them to make a substantial impression on the plywood market.They do not feel that manufacturing plywood has a very negative impact on the environment. Moreover, some of them take up some plantation and tree improvement programmes by themselves, and others do the same in association with some research institutes. But, it is a reality that production expenses are escalating due to material cost and labour and margins are shortening as a result. In spite of these factors, the industry does not see any peril in the imminent future.
The Need
Nowadays, the government taxation has burdened the plywood industry with high excise duty and a disproportionate tax structure. These regulations and taxation entice the producers to undertake tax evasion procedures. It is high time the government understood the gravity of the circumstances and took the suitable course to alleviate the ordeal of the producers and others concerned in the industry. The Union Budget for 1999 - 2000 has envisaged some concessions to the housing development sector. This augurs well for the future of the plywood industry. However, according to the industry people, there is much more to be done. They anticipate a fair deal from the government for which they have been waiting for such a long time. 

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Seminar Plywood - 2000