New national textile policy aims to beget $120bn investment in India

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-09-12 13:00:00 – Mumbai

The draft vision paper, given to the ministry in July, aims at bringing investment of $120 billion, so the sector can achieve $650-billion growth by 2024-25 for which it will require 35 million workers to achieve the growth target.

The present National Democratic Alliance government has reintroduced the new national policy draft which was earlier put forward for discussion by the previous United Progressive Alliance government. The Union textile ministry is expected to finalise a national policy in the coming month and has held meetings in Delhi and Mumbai. It is being synchronised with the manufacturing policy.

The draft, if converted into policy, will be a game-changer for the apparel sector. For the first time, the government has recognized the importance of the domestic sector, and that apparel is the apex sector which must be encouraged, said Rahul Mehta, president of Clothing Manufacturers Association of India.

A favourable textile policy will be important to create a market for the produce, specially when the Chinese demand for cotton is declining. Cotton production in the country has been on the rise.

Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar has called a meeting of stakeholders by the end of this month to finalise the policy.

In a meeting with stakeholders last week, ministry officials emphasized the need to increase the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector. They also said start-ups should be given importance. There is a need to push FDI in the Indian retail sector, as it will help Indian brands grow and enhance their visibility at the global level. The ministry aims to make India a net exporter of finished products.

At present, the ministry is not keen to make benefits of the scheme available for second-hand machinery. But the scheme could be extended to cotton ginning and pressing units. The draft policy talks about promoting the latest technology.

The government launched the technology upgradation fund scheme to spur growth in the sector. But the government discontinued it after cotton prices raised through the roof a couple of years ago.

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