The shawl manufacturers based in the Northern region have sought the intervention of Textile Ministry to boost the sector worried over the dwindling domestic sales and static exports. In the last fiscal, the total woollen exports from India were to the tune of Rs 3,136 crore. Out of this, shawls worth Rs 1,000 crore were exported. While, the export of shawls was more or less same as compared to the previous fiscal, domestic sales plummeted by 20-25% on account of shorter winter period. The total domestic market for shawls is estimated between Rs 3,000 crore and Rs 3,500 crore.
The shawl manufacturers in a letter written to the Ministry said that the government should encourage research and development in this sector and at the same time promote skill development.
Shawl Club (India), an association of Woolmark shawls licensees in India, has written that a Wool Technology Centre may be created at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and specialized courses on wool may be offered to train students exclusively for this sector. Such centre will act as a bridge between the research and teaching programmes and any centralized processing facility, which may be created for the use of wool processors, said Piara Lala Seth, general secretary of the club.
They also said the textile industry as a whole and shawl manufacturers in particular were facing shortage of trained manpower. There was a need for coordination between industry, research and development of products and manpower with updated skills. This will go a long way in creating better opportunities for the growth of industry. Also there was a need to boost R&D for developing innovative products by blending wool with other textile components and development of new wool processing technologies.
They have also demanded that the banks should fix interest rate for the textile industry on par with agriculture sector.
Earlier, the ministry had sought suggestions from the manufacturers to boost the industry. The letter highlighted the problems faced by the woollen sector, particularly shawl manufacturers based in Amritsar and Ludhiana in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The shawl sector is mostly dominated by SME sector.
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