Financial assistance

Weavers await technology upgrade plan

By NAYAN DAVE

In a bid to take advantage of the global opportunities emerging in the post-pandemic era, the domestic textile industry requires the deployment of an appropriate Textile Technology Development (TTDS) program that would replace the upgrade fund program. existing technological level (TUFS).

It can be mentioned that the last modification of TUFS, which was valid until March 31 this year, has been extended pending the announcement of TTDS. Textile industry sources said that textile units are waiting for the new scheme to be unveiled in order to upgrade their units because under the current amended TUFS scheme they hardly receive a subsidy of around 10%.

TUFS was originally launched in 1999 and it has been modified several times based on technological and market developments, they say, adding that it is high time to unveil the TTDS as soon as possible considering the fact as European countries and the United States try to reduce their dependence on China and looking to countries like India and Vietnam to source imports.

“We need to quickly upgrade the manufacturing process to exploit the global opportunity. More than 50% of weaving units across India are still using looms that are over 20 years old. The time has come to replace old machines with modern Rapier, Waterjet and airjet looms which would improve the quality of Indian fabric,” said Bharat Chhajer, former chairman of Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL), an organization under of the Union Ministry of Textiles.

“Since modern looms are more expensive, the government should encourage existing MSMEs in the sector by providing grants and other financial assistance,” said Ashok Jirawala, President of the Federation of Gujarat Weavers Associations. (FOGWA). There are more than 7.5 lakh looms in Surat, almost 50% of which need to be replaced with modern looms.

“Compared to traditional looms, rapier looms are extremely expensive and without government financial assistance, it is impossible for small units to upgrade their machines,” Jirawala said.

“The entire textile value chain, from spinning to processing, is in dire need of upgrading in order to exploit global opportunities in the textile and apparel sector,” said Mayur Golwala, Chairman of Sachin Industrial Estate, where hundreds of textile units are located.

“The government should consider increasing the investment ceiling for subsidies and other benefits for textile units in the next TTDS. Otherwise, it will be difficult to modernize the country’s textile sector,” he adds.

The Federation of Art Silk Weaving Industry of India (FIASWI) has already made representations to the Indian government to demand subsidies of up to 40% from textile processors in order to increase exports.

“The spinning segment must involve all blended yarns because blends would dominate future trends in the textile industry. For technology upgrade, spinners are expected to have a higher cap of Rs 100 crore with 25% subsidy. The garment sector must include construction of buildings as the cost of machinery is much lower than the cost of constructing a garment factory,” said Bharat Gandhi, Chairman of FIASWI.