New textile policy proposes Rs 80,000 crore investment in five years in the sector which will be developed around the concept, 'fabric to fashion'. Currently, the clothing industry from cotton to fabric to ready-to-wear cloths is scattered across the country. The new policy aims to change this situation, by processing its cotton completely here and the final ready-to-use cloths will be produced in the state only.
The designer of the policy, Ichalkaranji based BJP MLA Suresh Halwankar said that for the first time such an approach is taking place where the cotton producing state will also become producer of ready-to-use cloths and garments. At present, the clothing industry from cotton to fabric to ready-to-wear cloths is scattered across the country. The transportation expense is increasing the cost of the product while delivery time is also very high. Hence the new policy is mooted.
Halwankar on Friday made a presentation in Mumbai before chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, textile minister Chandrakant Patil, minister of state for textile Vijaykumar Deshmukh, minister of power Chandrakant Bawankule and secretaries from the respective departments. The government has accepted the proposal in-principle and a meeting is scheduled next week with the departments concerned regarding drawing a roadmap to implement the policy.
Halwankar said that there are several textile industries and parks across the country, but nowhere you will get all types of industrial units that need to convert the cotton into usable clothes. The Vidarbha region produces cotton but ginning mills are in Marathwada, while primary processing is done in Ichalkaranji. Then it goes to either Bhiwandi (Mumbai) or Rajasthan or Kanpur. Sometimes it goes to Tamilnadu as well and finally it goes to Bangladesh for stitching purpose to get the final product that can be sold to retail customers.
The state wants to process its cotton and the final ready-to-use cloths will be produced in the state only. The government will identify locations and acquire land for setting up all types of units and provide financial assistance in the form of subsidy with low interest. The power ministry will ensure sufficient power supply, while the labour ministry organizes skill development sessions and workshops.
The policy has suggested identification of nine locations where cotton can be supplied to get the final product out of it. It will be called textile hub, where spinning, yarn making, warping, sizing and stitching units will come up and generate employment. Already, the agriculture sector in the state has surplus labour force. This surplus labour force can be used in the textile mills near the villages. It will provide an assured workforce for the textile hub. The women self-help groups also can get jobs in these hubs, Halwankar said.
The policy states that Maharashtra produces 56 lakh bales of cotton, of which only 25 lakh is processed in the state. The policy proposes to increase the existing swindles in textile units to 50 lakh from 12 lakh. This will enable processing of every cotton bale in the state itself. It alone requires Rs 50,000 crore.
The rest of the investment will go into land acquisition, training, and other machinery and facility creation. Every hub would need around 100 acres of land at one location.
The industry will contribute Rs 4,000 crore in the form of sales, excise and value added tax to the state coffers. If you start calculating the cost of other consumptions, including rise in the purchase capacity of the employed class, it will be a major push to the state's economy. The benefits will percolate to all sectors of the economic strata. Even farmers will earn better because processing units can directly buy from them instead of through middlemen.
The proposal also mentions a clear stand on eco-friendly disposal of chemicals and waste. Halwankar said that the state environment secretary gets everyday details of each common effluent treatment plants across the state. Such CETPs will be set up at every hub for proper disposal of waste, meeting the international norms, he added.
Satish Koshti, president of Ichalkaranji Powerloom Weavers' Association meanwhile said that the policy has come a little late. It should have been introduced earlier. Some units will suffer because either these units will have to shift to a hub or other allied textile units will have to be set up in Ichalkaranji. They will support the policy for its comprehensiveness and provide technical guidance when required.
Minister Chandrakant Patil said that the new proposal is very ambitious because textile is the second-largest employment-generating enterprise, the first being agriculture.
The new policy is going to involve a lot of foreign direct investment, because with such a comprehensive policy, the state can attract major world manufacturers for either setting up their own units or outsourcing it. This will benefit the existing units as well.
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