Domestic textile majors in Kerala State are making a beeline for the traditional Khadi and handloom production hubs with lucrative offers for outright procurement of their products, while the State government is gearing up to execute a textile modernization plan.
Key players were coaxing the Khadi and handloom production units in Kannur and Thrissur, to begin with, to sell their products at competitive prices and also seeking an assurance that they would consistently meet the demand for a fixed tenure.
The offer sounds rosy for the units as it ensures regular employment to scores of workers and also a higher price for the producers for a fixed period. But it is fraught with the danger of the industry losing its identity and clout in the market.
Also, on establishing monopoly, the companies are likely to determine the prices and even the working conditions in the units. The Central government had already given the authority to such buyers to fix the prices in the Khadi sector and hence market manipulation would be easy too, sources said.
The only option to insulate the industry from such overtures of monopolists is to expedite the implementation of the modernization package approved in principle by the government and establish a Kerala brand in the market without compromising on quality.
The government has already approved a modernisation plan submitted by an expert committee headed by P. Nandakumar. They are aware that the traditional sector is prone to such incursions from monopolists and now the government has expedited execution of the modernisation plan that calls for a comprehensive development of the sector, with a renewed accent on building the Kerala brand.
Mr. Nandakumar said that as a first step, the mills at Komalapuram and Pinarayi will start functioning soon and that would lead to a major boost in the
Textile industry compared to other industries has the potential for engaging legions of workers, mainly women, and providing jobs consistently, with minimum investment.
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