India is the third largest Salt producing Country in the World after  China and USA  with Global annual production being about 230 million tones.  The growth and achievement of Salt Industry over the last 60 years has been spectacular.  When India attained Independence in 1947, salt was being imported from the United Kingdom & Adens to meet its domestic requirement.  But today it has not only achieved self-sufficiency in production of salt to meet its domestic requirement but also in a position of exporting surplus salt to foreign countries.  The production of salt during 1947 was 1.9 million tones which has increased ten fold to record 22.18 million tones during 2011-12.


The main sources of salt in India are

·        Sea brine

·        Lake brine

·        Sub-soil brine and

·        Rock salt deposits


Sea water is an inexhaustible source of salt.  Salt production along the coast is limited by weather and soil conditions.  The major salt producing centres are

Marine Salt works along the coast of Gujarat (Jamnagar, Mithapur,Jhakhar, Chira, Bhavnagar, Rajula, Dahej, Gandhidham, Kandla, Maliya, Lavanpur), Tamil Nadu (Tuticorin, Vedaranyam, Covelong), Andhra Pradesh (Chinnaganjam, Iskapalli, Krishnapatnam, Kakinada & Naupada), Maharashtra(Bhandup, Bhayandar, Palghar), Orissa (Ganjam, Sumadi) and West Bengal (Contai)

Inland Salt Works  in Rajasthan using lake brine and sub-soil brine viz. Sambhar Lake, Nawa, Rajas, Kuchhaman, Sujangarh and Phalodi

Salt works in Rann of Kutch  using sub-soil brine viz: Kharaghoda, Dhrangadhra; Santalpur

Rock Salt Deposits at Mandi in the State of Himachal Pradesh

The major salt producing centres are given in Map-1



There are about 11799 salt manufacturers engaged in production of Common salt in an extent of about 6.09 lakh acres in the Country. It is estimated that 87.6 per cent of the total number of salt manufacturers are small salt producers (having an individual extent of less than 10 acres for salt manufacture), 5.8% is large scale producers (having an individual extent of more than 100 acres) and 6.6 % is medium scale producers (having an individual extent between 10 and 100 acres)

                 Average Annual Production of Salt in India is 215.80 lakh tones whereas ever high production of 240 lakh tones was recorded during 2009-10 followed by 221 lakh tonnes during 2012-13 (Upto 2/13). Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are surplus Salt producing States accounting for about  96 per cent of the Country’s production.  Gujarat contributes 76.7 per cent  to the total production, followed by Tamil Nadu (11.16 %) and Rajasthan (9.86%).  The rest 2.28% production comes from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Karnataka, West Bengal, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Diu & Daman.  On an average 62% of the total production is from  Large salt producers followed by small scale producers (28%) and rest by medium scale producers

                 The average annual supplies of salt for human consumption is about 59 lakh tonnes and that for industrial consumption is about 107 lakh tones; 60% of the salt for human consumption moves by rail and 40 % by road.  88% of the salt for industrial consumption moves by road, 10 % by rail and 2% by coastal shipment to various industries; when the total indigenous supplies is taken, 72 per cent moves by road, 27% moves by rail and 1% by sea

                 India exports surplus production of salt to  the tune of about 35 lakh tonnes on an average; During the year 2011-12, a record export of 38 lakh tonnes was achieved primarily due to surge of demand from China. Other major countries importing salt from India are Japan, Bangladesh,  Indonesia, South Korea, North Korea, Malaysia, U.A.E., Vietnam, Quatar etc.

                Government of India has adopted the strategy of Universal Salt Iodisation and Consumption for elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) in the country under the National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme(NIDDCP).  Iodine is supplemented in the diet through Iodised Salt for combating IDD.  The Programme was started in 1962 initially confining to Goitre endemic areas but after 1984 it was implemented throughout the country.  Thus as on date a significant progress has been made on Universal Salt Iodisation.  The country produces about 62 lakh tones of Iodised salt and about 59.7akh tones of iodised salt is supplied for human consumption against the requirement of about 60.5 lakh tones for entire population.  The country has created more than adequate salt iodisation capacity of over 175 lakh tones.

                Salt Industry is labour intensive in the country.  About 1.11 lakh labourers are employed daily in the Salt Industry on an average.  Salt Commissioner’s Organisation has put in place a number of Labour Welfare Schemes ameliorating the working and living conditions of salt labourers.



Salt is a Central subject in the Constitution of India and appears as item No.58 of the Union List of the 7 th Schedule, which reads:

a)   Manufacture, Supply and Distribution of Salt by Union Agencies; and

b)   Regulation and control of manufacture, supply and distribution of salt by other agencies.

Central Government is responsible for controlling all aspects of the Salt Industry.  Salt Commissioner’s Organisation, an attached Office under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion), Government of India, is entrusted with the above task.

                       Government of India has delicensed Salt Industry by deleting provisions relating to Salt in the Central Excise & Salt Act, 1944 vide Finance Bill of 1996-97.  In line with Government of India’s Policy of Liberalisation and simplification of Procedures, the Salt Cess Rules, 1964, have been amended vide Notification No.GSR 639(E) dated 04.09.2001.  Salt Commissioner’s Organisation plays a facilitating role in overall growth and development of Salt Industry in the country.

The thrust of the Salt Commissioner’s Organisation currently is on the following:

·        Technological Development and Quality Improvement

·        Salt Iodisation Programe for combating Iodine Deficiency Disorders

·        Infrastructure Development promoting Salt Industry

·        Labour Welfare Schemes for Salt Workers particularly housing under NAMAK MAZDOOR AWAS YOJNA

·        Export of Salt