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Mah govt working on niche policy for garment and apparel sector

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-07-25 16:15:00 – Mumbai

Maharashtra state government is working on a niche policy to promote investments in the garment and apparel sector, considering its job creation potential and boost its ‘Make in Maharashtra’ plans. The policy will focus on setting up garment and apparel units in the cotton-growing areas of Vidarbha and Marathwada, which are also known for agrarian distress and farmer suicides.

Officials said that the economic benefits of value-addition to raw cotton would also percolate down to the farmers while generating direct and indirect employment. Apparel is a sector that is low on investments and high on manpower. They are also considering a special policy for the garment and apparel sector. They will promote such industries and units in Vidarbha and Marathwada, which would create a larger supplier eco-system and increase employment opportunities.

The policy will look at granting fiscal and non-fiscal incentives like land in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas, grant of FSI and allotment of plots for garment and apparel units in the ten textile parks to come up in Vidarbha and Marathwada. Though Maharashtra already has a policy for the textile sector, this niche, sectoral policy for garments and apparels will give a further boost to investments, the official said.

They are examining policies by the Centre and also by other states for the sector as it is a labour intensive area so they will focus on facilitation and ease of doing business and at doing away with bottlenecks to investment and meeting stakeholder needs. As the garments sector can be the second largest source of employment after agriculture in Maharashtra.

The initiatives would benefit women as well, as the sector employs them in large numbers. It would also create indirect employment due to various "job works" that are given out. The value addition to cotton and cloth will trickle down and eventually ensure a better price for cotton cultivators, the official noted.

As the Union cabinet approved a special package for employment generation and promotion of exports in the textile and apparel sector. The policy, which includes incentives and EPF reforms, comes after the package of reforms announced by the Centre to generate one crore jobs in the textile and apparel industry over the next three years. These steps are expected to lead to a cumulative increase of US $30 billion in exports and investments of Rs74,000 crore over the next three years.

Similarly, their incentives may include sweeteners like the state government constructing major roads, sub-stations and infrastructure and set up of common effluent treatment plants," the official said.

The Maharashtra government has also unveiled policies for retail trade, electronics, single-window facilitation, for SC/ST entrepreneurs and for IT and ITeS. It is also working on niche policies for defence production and industrial parks.

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