The Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis plans to develop Vidarbha as the biggest textile hub of India as he believes that farmerâ€™s problems will not resolve with just one time financial package. There has to be alternate avenues to channelize their cotton and ensure higher remunerations long term.
The state government is going to announce a special package for Vidarbha next week to promote cotton based industries in the region.
Highly placed sources in the government revealed that land in the outskirts of Amravati district around 100 hectares has been identified that would be developed as the textile hub of the region.
Another two textile centres in the region are also being worked out. On the lines of MIDC, a separate Vidarbha Cotton Industrial Corporation (VIDC) is on the agenda.
The purpose is to facilitate cotton cultivators to channelize their products that would be in demand if there are spinning mills and other related small scale industries operating. Secondly, if both cotton cash crop and related industries are functioning, it can become a new textile centre.
Another major reform on the agenda relates to addressing the power crisis that has dissuaded the industries in the cotton growing belt of Vidarbha.
The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at the meeting held with the senior cabinet ministers informed that primary concern is reluctance of the industries to make investment in absence of interrupted power supply.
The investors want an assurance of uninterrupted power supply to make their industries viable. The Rs 9 to 12 per unit electricity in state coupled with in-built load shedding factor is a deterrent.
The government wants to address the problems by asking the private players and industries to enter into direct negotiations with the power generators. And government can provide slew of other concessions like cheap land and other infrastructure to make it industry friendly climate in the Vidarbha region.
A senior cabinet minister said that if power rates are left to private players, the other aspects like land and infrastructure along with certain terms and conditions like employment of locals can be worked out.
Insiders indicated that purpose of at least three textile parks in region of Vidarbha is to facilitate cotton cultivators to sell their cash crop within the region and gather the benefits. This would also save the high transportation cost that incurs in absence of cotton based industries in the region.
The setting up of cotton spinning mills and related industries complete with raw product to finishes goods is on the government agenda.
The public works department has promised to make Vidarbha pot hole free by January 15 as this is another ambitious project that is being worked out through multiple agencies.
As Vidarbha in the last 15 years have registered maximum cases of suicides. The farmerâ€™s representatives and opposition have demanded Rs. 6,000 per quintal rate for the cotton.
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