The government on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that efforts to revive sick cotton mills in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh have failed and a revival plan for the knitwear sector has been prepared.
Replying to supplementaries during Question hour, Textile minister Smriti Irani also told the House that 78 cotton mills have shut down across the country ever since the incorporation of National Textile Corporation, despite efforts to revive them.
She also informed that under the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), nine mills were closed in Gujarat state.
"Efforts were made for revival of cotton mills in Kanpur being run under purview of British India Corporation, but all such efforts proved futile.
"Modernisation of cotton mills was attempted, but after all attempts to revive the mills failed, a panel of the Niti Aayog HAS suggested disinvestment of BIC," she told the House.
Irani said when the Kanpur industry interacted with the Textile ministry for revival of textile sector, it was found that the knitwear sector required revival efforts.
"A special scheme for the knitwear sector has been formulated by the Textile Ministry and we are working together with industry stakeholders and have lauded this scheme," she said.
In response to another question on dumping of products by Bangladesh, the minister said challenges with regard to textiles produced particularly in Bangladesh, the access given to Bangladeshi investments and industry through the Safta route is something that has been discussed with the Minister of External Affairs and the Commerce Minister, along with the Textile industry.
"We are trying to invoke the issue of origin so that we can ensure that our markets are not flooded via Bangladesh with Chinese goods," she said.
Irani also said that 78 mills have hence been closed since the incorporation of NTC. They were closed after due consideration even by the previous government after efforts to revive them failed.
In her written reply, the minister also said the mills have been closed in the country over the years mainly owing to financial problems and labour related issues.
She said as far as National Textile Corporation (NTC) is concerned, the NTC was incorporated in 1968 with the main objective of managing affairs of sick textile undertakings taken over by the Government.
"NTC suffered heavy losses due to obsolete machinery and other reasons. Based on BIFR approved Revival Scheme of NTC i.e. Modified Revival Scheme (MS)-08, NTC has closed 78 mills under Industrial Dispute (ID) Act, 1947, on account of being unviable; modernised its 23 mills on its own; and revived 5 mills through Joint Ventures(JV) arrangements," she said, adding it has no mandate under BIFR scheme to revive unviable mills closed under Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.
Irani said this ministry has launched many schemes like, Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP), Scheme for Integrated Textile Processing Development (IPDS), and Amended Technology Upgradation Fund (ATUFS) which are aimed at strengthening the textile industry and thereby improving productivity, sustainability and employment opportunities.
"In SITP, total 59 textiles parks are sanctioned, out of which 22 parks have been completed. Govt of India has supported these parks with total Rs 780.22 Crores as subsidy.
These parks have attracted Rs 9038.96 Crores as investment and so far it has generated employment for 82612 persons.
"Under the TUFS/ATUFS an amount of Rs 26,548 Crores has been released as subsidy to textile industry against an investment of Rs 324,585 Crores during 1999-2019," she said.
Irani also said the Government has implemented a special package for employment generation and promotion of exports in Apparel and Made-ups sector.
The package includes a slew of measures which are labour friendly and would promote employment generation, economies of scale and boost exports, she said, adding it was available up to March, 2019 for Garment and Made-ups units. The following components are included in the said special package.
The Textile minister also said the Government is implementing the Scheme for Integrated Textile Park (SITP) which provides support for creation of world-class infrastructure facilities for setting up of textile units in a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model, with a Government of India grant up to 40 percent of project cost with ceiling limit of Rs 40.00 crores for each park.Irani said the government has sanctioned Rs 27.15 crore in the budget for 2018-19 in revised estimates and Rs 20 crore in budget estimates for 2019-20 for textile parks.