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Maha govt mull over allowing sick co-op textile mills to sell land, recover losses

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-08-27 15:00:00 – Mumbai

To recover losses and revive sick cooperative textile mills in the Maharashtra state, a major step being considered under the comprehensive plan of cooperative structure is whether to allow sick textile mills to sell of excess land in their possession, said textile minister Chandrakant Dada Patil.

The government's share in their capital ranges from 80% to 45%. Most of them are spinning mills. Each unit has loss in tune of Rs20-40 crore.

The attempt is seen as a last-ditch effort on part of Fadnavis government to breathe fresh lease of life into nearly 50 cooperative textile mills in the state – which are sick, closed or under liquidation.

These mills were never given permission by the state to sell the extra land, despite repeated requests to this effect.

Patil said that they expect the decision will help them recover from losses. Where selling land alone won't help, the government will chip in. The government has not yet decided on whether there should be a cap on saleable land. The government want these mills to revive as it has invested big money in them.

Other the other hand, Industry experts called the plan "useless" and "impractical" as the minister possibly doesn’t know that most sick mills are located in smaller cities and towns and no mill has that much excess land which could fetch them Rs30-40 crore.

According to Ashok Swamy, chairman of the Textile Federation the government need to do something more to support the sector, which once propelled the growth of Maharashtra. Selling excess land won't help much. Out of 120-plus cooperative mills in the state, 50% are in the sick category. Those functional are also passing through tough time.

The previous Congress-NCP government was in favour of foreign/private sector collaboration to revive the sector, but the plans didn't take off.

The Suresh Halwankar committee had recommended closure of all sick mills to cut losses, creating an uproar in political circles. The Congress and NCP had termed the recommendation a "deliberate attempt" to destroy the cooperative sector – where both the opposition parties claim strong presence.

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