The All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers’ Association, which is commonly known as AIIGMA, is the representative body of industrial gases, gas cylinders, related equipment and gas business-related safety instruments manufacturers in India.

Located in New Delhi, India’s national capital, the association traces its history back to 1975 when it was starting to promote the industrial gas industry in India by various activities.

In the 1970s there were only a few selected players in the industrial gas industry, yet over the last three and half decades the country’s industrial gas business has come a long way and AIIGMA has played a key contribution in this growth.

During this time AIIGMA has developed into a large family and at present, its membership includes almost all the major and minor units in the country engaged in the production of industrial gas and allied equipments.

Current membership strength of the association is around 270, comprising of 200 ordinary members, 49 associate members, 15 foreign members and one honorary member.

Association with trade chambers
AIIGMA works in close coordination with the Government departments related to the industrial gas industry, departments including the Ministry of Industry, Department of Explosives, Bureau of Indian Standards, Central Pollution Control Board, and the Central Board of Excise & Customs.

Close association with these organisations/departments enables AIIGMA to promote the various activities in the industrial gas industry as well as protect the interests of the domestic industrial gas business.

In a country which, despite all the progress made in recent years, is more popular for its red-tape issues and bureaucratic delays in setting-up an industry, AIIGMA provides the necessary information to the domestic as well as foreign industrial gas players.

Its role becomes increasingly important when considering the local industry, which is characterised by the presence of a large number of units in the medium and small sector, as opposed to the dominance of a few multinational companies seen in the Americas and Europe.

The Association is affiliated to top trade associations of the country which includes the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), FICCI & ASSOCHAM, National Industry Associations and Compressed Gas Associations of the US, with association with these trade chambers and organisations helping to put the needs and challenges of the gas industry on the right platform.

AIIGMA is represented in the Standardisation Committees of the Bureau of Indian Standards for standardisation of gases and gas cylinders, while the association is also responsible for the working of the development panel for industrial gases constituted by the Ministry of Industry, of the Government of India.

Another key contribution of AIIGMA is the collection & dissemination of information on technological development, industrial policy, safety regulations, taxation and duty related to industrial gases business.

All these activities and objectives are accomplished through the organisation of workshops, seminars, and meetings from time to time and through various publications.

The association also conducts delegation visits of Indian gas manufacturers to foreign countries such as Europe, the US, Far East & China, so that domestic companies can keep themselves abreast with the new developments and state-of-the-art practices in developed countries in our industry.

These official delegations also help in developing close business relation between gas manufacturers in India and the gas and allied equipment manufacturers in other countries.

Apart from these delegations, AIIGMA conducts seminars and workshops in the country on a regular basis, concerning the latest developments and trends in the gases industry.

Every year, AIIGMA organises a national seminar on the industrial gas industry, and in its 31st such occasion will be holding the seminar in New Delhi later this month (February) with the theme ‘Gases – Industry’s invisible backbone’.

It will also host ISO TC 58 plenary meeting in India, simultaneously with the national seminar.

Key objectives of AIIGMA
Besides helping the domestic gas industry in a myriad of ways, AIIGMA also strives to achieve the following objectives:

• Industrial gases should be declared as a separate industry under IDR act rather than be a part of miscellaneous chemicals under schedule-19.

• Modernisation should be brought through the installation of efficient tonnage air-separation plants and the manufacturing of cryogenic liquid distribution equipment.

• Financial and technical collaboration with multinational companies in the field of industrial gases, as well as establishment of subsidiaries by these transnational companies, should be adopted by the industry.

• Qualified technical human resource should be developed by training.

• Being a highly power-intensive industry, special power-tariffs should be applicable to the gas production.

• Cryogenic equipments are capital intensive in nature and therefore easy term loan facilities with lower customs duty should be applicable in case of import of such equipments.