To boost the textile sector, the government has been taking a series of steps including launching of Technology Mission on Cotton (TMC) and the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) to enable modernisation and upgradation of the textile industry both in the organised and unorganised sectors.
TUFS has been fine-tuned to increase the rapid investments in the targeted sub-sectors of the textile industry. The cost of machinery has been further brought down by reducing the customs duty on imports, parliament was told.
Replying to questions in Rajya Sabha, EVKS Elangovan, minister of state for textiles, said India’s share in world trade in textile and clothing in the three years from 2004 to 2006 had increased from 2.99 per cent to 3.68 per cent.
World trade in textiles and clothing touched US$530 billion in 2006, compared to US$483 billion in 2005.
The minister said Indian textiles and clothing industry has been trying to utilise its full potential to cater to international demand for quality textile products.
However, the textiles and clothing industry has been reporting certain constraints such as high power and transaction costs, poor port facilities, high raw-material prices, un-rebated taxes and duties, high excise duty, high customs duty on raw materials and inadequate product basket, which can cater to the demands of sophisticated international markets.
He said in order to cater to the growing skilled manpower requirements at shop-floor level, the government is providing assistance for strengthening existing – and opening new – Apparel Training and Design Centres (ATDCs).
The government has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the textile sector under automatic route while de-reserving readymade garments, hosiery and knitwear from SSI sector to attract large-scale investments in these sectors.
Elangovan said the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has been set up to provide a leadership role in sensitising the industry to the concept of value addition, by inducting trained professionals to manage the industry. This has resulted in an increased demand for trained professionals in various sectors servicing the industry.