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State to take final call on proposed textile policy only after Sept 11

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-09-06 11:00:00 – Kolhapur

The Maharashtra state government has approved the policy in-principle designed by Suresh Halwankar, BJP MLA from Ichalkaranji and it is now being discussed at the secretary level as it is a major cotton producer and processor in the country. However, the final call on the proposed textile policy would be taken only after September 11.

The policy is expected to attract investments worth Rs 80,000 crore. The investment will come in the form of new machines, setting up of clusters and infrastructure provision.

State cooperation and textile minister Chandrakant Patil also said that the state government is planning to hold a meeting once the state secretary, who is on leave, returns. They will hold the meeting to discuss the locations, available infrastructure, power requirement and its smooth supply among other issues.

Halwankar said that there are some textile industries and parks across the country, but nowhere will you find all types of industrial units needed to convert cotton into usable clothes. Vidarbha region produces cotton but ginning mills are in Marathwada, while primary processing is done in Ichalkaranji. Thereafter, it either goes to Bhiwandi (Mumbai) or to Rajasthan or Kanpur as per the requirement. Sometimes, it goes to Tamil Nadu as well. Finally, it is shipped to Bangladesh for stitching purpose after which they get the final product that can be sold to retail customers.

The policy proposed to bring change in the existing model, which is costlier and time consuming. The change is aimed at delivering final product at the shortest possible time and place the country in the global market as one-stop solution for apparel requirement.

The policy document stated that the textile industry is second only to agriculture in terms of importance having capacity to create maximum jobs/employment after agriculture. The object of the policy is to lay special emphasis on raising processing units at various levels for assured long-term development on priority basis in the cotton producing sector, expansion of the textile industry and growth of employment in the state.

As per the state government's official statement on textile policy, textile industries have a share of 14% of the total industrial production in the country. The state produces 56 lakh bales of cotton of which only 25 lakh are processed in Maharashtra as present. The remaining bales are transported outside the state. The policy proposes to increase the existing swindles in the textile units from 12 lakh to 50 lakh.

According to Satish Koshti, president of Ichalkaranji Powerloom Weavers' Association, the Ichalkaranji cluster is already known for supplying clothes to more than 50 international brands as per the requirement. If the policy is drafted carefully and solves all the possible practical hurdles, it will not only attract huge investments but also help in job creation. It is still a labour intensive sector and has capacity to generate jobs for thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workforce in the rural as well as urban areas.

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