THREE JUTE PARKS SHORTLISTED IN WEST BENGAL12 August :The Investments in the textiles sector are expected to reach Rs. 1,50,600 crore by 2012 and this enhanced investment will generate 17.37 million new jobs in the textiles sector.
Addressing at a function in Kolkata today after releasing the booklet tilted “Indian Textiles- The Sunrise Sector, highlighting the achievements of Textiles Sector during the four year tenure of the Government, The Minister for Textiles, Shri Shankersinh Vaghela said that the Indian textiles industry is in a stronger position than it was in the last six decades due to sagacious guidance provided by Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister. The industry which was growing at 3-4 percent during the last six decades has now accelerated to an annual growth rate of 16 percent in value terms and will reach the level of US $ 115 billion (exports US $ 55 billion; domestic market US $ 60 billion) by 2012.
Shri Shankersinh Vaghela said that the biggest achievement of the UPA Government was to turnaround the Indian Textiles from Sunset to Sunrise sector. The catalyst for this exponential growth is a buoyant domestic economy, substantial increase in cotton production, the conducive policy environment provided by the Government, and the expiration of the Multi Fibre Arrangement, MFA on December 31, 2004. The rationalization of fiscal duties undertaken during the last three years has also provided a level playing field in all segments of the industry, resulting in the holistic growth of the industry.
The Minister said that in retrospect, it can be said that the nineties were a watershed period for the Indian textiles industry. This was the time when, in anticipation of the termination of the Multi-fibre Arrangement (MFA), the industry started scaling up, improving efficiencies and modernizing technologies. Within one year of the MFA regime coming to a close on December 31, 2004, Indian exports grew at a staggering rate of 22%. Though, this growth rate slowed down in subsequent years, opportunities in the shape of newer, larger markets, and products, have remained. The exports of textiles and clothing during 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 were US$ 14 billion, US$ 17.52 billion and US$ 18.73 billion respectively. These were US$ 21.46 billion in 2007-08, registering a growth of 12.10% in dollar terms, he added.
Shri Vaghela informed that the Indian Textiles Industry has suffered from severe technology obsolescence and lack of economies of scale, which in turn diluted its productivity, quality and cost effectiveness, despite distinctive advantages in raw material, knowledge base, and skilled human resources. The UPA Government gave a renewed impetus to the implementation of the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) and subsequently extended upto March 31, 2012. During its initial years, the progress of the scheme was moderate and it gained momentum from 2004-05 onwards. 17,043 applications had been received involving, a project cost of Rs. 1,21,396 crores and 16,911 applications have been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,16,981.
The Minister said that the textiles sector has witnessed a spurt in investments during the last four years. The main engine of investment has been the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS). The Total investment during 1999-2007 has been Rs. 1,21, 396 crore ,of which the Investment during 2004-2007 was Rs. 1,01,481 crore. It is expected to touch Rs. 1,50,600 crore by 2012. This enhanced investment will generate 17.37 million jobs.
Shri Vaghela said that, UPA Government gave emphasis to the development of infrastructure at potential textiles growth areas and launched the Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) which aims to strengthen infrastructural facilities in potential textiles growth areas. 40 Integrated Textile Parks had been sanctioned under the SITP. These Parks when operationalised, will attract an investment of Rs. 21,502 crore, create employment (direct and indirect) for 5.75 lakh workers and produce goods worth Rs. 38,115 crore annually.
The Minister said that in recent years, the problems of jute industry had multiplied and it was struggling hard for survival. The problems were high labour cost, instability in the production of raw jute, demand erosion, obsolescence of machinery, uneconomic working and competition from synthetic sector. All these factors/handicaps had led to large scale sickness in the industry. This dismal scenario called for an urgent action plan to remedy the situation The UPA Government gave a new impetus to revival and development of Jute Sector. The National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of UPA Government attaches special importance to the jute sector. The aim of the Government is to develop new generation, cost competitive and performance-effective jute and jute blended products through up gradation of spinning and weaving technology to achieve higher rate of product improvement, modernisation and diversification of product mix towards value added items.
Shri Vaghela said that as part of these measures the Government substantially enhanced the Minimum Support Price of raw jute and imparted a renewed vigour to the Minimum Support Price Operations carried by the Jute Corporation of India (JCI). The MSP for TD-5 grade of raw jute was increased from Rs.1,000 per quintal for the jute season 2006-07 (July-June), to Rs. 1,055 per quintal for the jute season 2007-08, and has been pegged at Rs. 1,250 per quintal for the Jute season 2008-09, registering an increase of 18.5%.
The Textiles Minister said that the Jute Packaging Material (Compulsory Use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987, continuous to be implemented to ensure the compulsory 100% packaging of sugar and food grains in jute bags. This measure had helped in increasing the internal consumption of Jute by 11%.
Shri Vaghela informed that the UPA Government announced the first National Jute Policy in April 2005 to facilitate the Sector to attain and sustain a preeminent global standing in the manufacture and export of Jute products by enabling the Jute Industry to build world class state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, and strengthen research and development activities, through public-private initiative, in agriculture to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers.
The Minister said that as envisaged in the National Jute Policy, the Jute Technology Mission at an estimated cost of Rs. 355.55 crore was launched in February 2007, and the National Jute Board Bill has been placed before Parliament to set-up the National Jute Board to bring about better co-ordination and efficiency in the Jute Sector.
Shri Vaghela said that The Jute Technology Mission has four mini missions. The mini missions III & IV are being implemented by the Ministry of Textiles. The mini mission-III involves, interalia, development of 10 market yards, constructionof 20 departmental purchase centres at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore by the Jute Corporation Of India (JCI) to benefit farmers, construction of 50 or more mini retting tanks. Of the 10 market yards, 6 will be developed in West Bengal in collaboration with West Bengal State Marketing Board at an investment of Rs. 6 crore, of which 60% shall be provided by the Central Govt. through JCI and balance 40% by the West Bengal State Marketing Board. These will be at Champadanga, Bethuadahari, Karimpur, Toofanganj, Tulshihata and Dhupguri. The 20 Departmental Purchase Centre (DPC) which are to be setup, of these 12 Centre are planned in West Bengal, 3 in Assam, 3 in Bihar and one each in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. In West Bengal they are planned at Pandua, Kalna, Katwa, Harirampur, Karnojora, Panjipara, Islampur, Talmahat (Belakoba), Dinhata, Alipurduar, Mathabhanga, and one site is yet to be decided.
Shri Vaghela said that the scheme for Jute Parks for the Diversified Sector (JDPS) is a part of Mini Mission-IV under the Jute Technology Mission. The scheme will provide entrepreneurs in the Jute Sector with facilities on the pattern of the Scheme for Integrated Textiles Parks (SITP) and will be implemented in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode with 40% Government funding. The Government have provided Rs. 60 crore to implement the scheme between 2006-07-2012. Six Jute Park will be set up in non-special category States and Four Parks will be set up in North Eastern States. The Government have short listed four Jute Parks at (i) Rezinagar, Murshidabad, West Bengal (ii) Chakchaka, Cooch Behar, West Bengal (iii) Shaktigarh, Burdhaman, West Bengal and (iv) Shrinagar, Rajasthan.
The Minister informed that the UPA Government took up the issue of revival of National Jute Manufacturers Corporation Ltd., Kolkata (NJMC Ltd.), and approved Rs.978 crore in 2005 to provide VRS to its employees and clear secured liabilities. NJMC has given VRS to about 16,000 workers and cleared secured liabilities upto 2006-07 The revival plan of two mills in West Bengal i.e., Kinnison and Khardah, and RBHM, Katihar, Bihar was referred to the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE), and the Board in its meeting held on December 19, 2007, approved the revival plan of these mills with induction of Private Partner, at an estimated cost of Rs.1,263 crore. The Central Government will also bear the conversion of Government of India loan into equity, waiver of interest, etc., amounting to approx. Rs.6,462 crore. The Revival Plan is with Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) and will be placed for Cabinet approval once of the approval of BIFR is obtained.
Shri Vaghela said that the Government have also initiated the process to revive Bird Jute and Exports Ltd. (BJEL), the subsidiary of NJMC, at an estimated cost of Rs. 97 crore ,which includes settlement of all its liabilities. The BRPSE has ,in principle, approved the revival scheme and it is with BIFR. The workers, jute growers and others will benefit with the revival of these mills in West Bengal.
The Minister informed that the Government brought into force the National Institute of Fashion Technology Act, 2006 on July 14, 2006. This Act provides statutory status to the Institute, and formally recognizes its leadership in the fashion technology sector. The Act empowers NIFT to award degrees to its students from 2007 onwards. The President of India is the visitor of the Institute. The Institute has pioneered the evolution of fashion business education across the country through eight centres at New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Rae Bareli. The Foundation Stone of NIFT centre at Kannur, Kerala was laid on April 19, 2008.The opening of new NIFT Centres at Patna and Bhopal is at an advanced stage.
Shri Vaghela said that due to untiring efforts of the Government, the Modified Revival Scheme (MRS) for the National Textiles Corporation (NTC), at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,267 crore, was approved by the Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) on March 28, 2006. This scheme will be financed through interest free loans of Rs. 528 crore from the Government of India, and Rs. 4,739 crore will accrue from the sale of land and other assets.
The Minister informed that as a part of a social welfare measure, UPA Government restructured and initiated Schemes to provide insurance coverage, including cashless OPD facilities, to handloom weavers, handicraft artisans and their families. In Wool and woolen sector insurance coverage is being provided to Shepards and sheep.