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Trade Talk | May 2014

Standards in technical textiles vital: FICCI meet

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has recently urged the Ministry of Textiles and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to expedite the formulation of standards in technical textiles for health, safety and environment reasons.

Speaking on the occasion of second National Seminar on Standards in Technical Textiles, jointly organised by FICCI, Ministry of Textiles and BIS, Zohra Chatterji, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, said "There is a need to identify more institutions that would help in the process of formulation of standards for technical textiles. Majority of standards in technical textile are concentrated in a few areas and there is a need to broad base the standard formulation process to cover other areas of technical textiles. Currently, majority of the standards are in the area of industrial textiles, agro textile, etc., and there is a need to have more standards in areas like medical textiles, etc.

Chatterji added "Gradually we need to move towards the regime of mandatory usage of some of these technical textile items in areas like flood control, roads and construction. Chatterji also suggested that a web based mechanism could be designed with the help of BIS which would evaluate faster submission of suggestions related to standards."

Sujit Gulati, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles informed that inclusion of flame resistant fabrics in the factory act for workers safety has been considered by ministry of labour. He also informed that recommendations for replacement of polyester clothing with nylon clothing for soldiers have been accepted by CRPF and incorporated into the organisations procurement practices last year.

Gulati also said "the special efforts need to be dedicated towards expediting and streamlining the standard formulation process".

Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, FICCI Committee on Textiles and Technical Textiles while speaking in the seminar said that there has been progress in the formulation of standards in the last two to three years, but there is a need to expedite the formulation of standards and also more standards need to be formulated in the area of health, hygiene and safety which would encourage the use of technical textiles in the country and also help in exports. According to FICCI-E&Y-Wazir and Ministry of Textiles Compendium on Standards in Technical Textiles the domestic market of technical textiles is expected to reach Rs 1.58 lac crore by 2016-17 with an estimated annual growth of 20 per cent.

Technical textiles are materials and products used primarily for their technical performance and functional properties (like fire retardant textiles, bullet proof jacket, anti-microbial fabric, etc). Technical textiles represent a multidisciplinary field with numerous end-use applications.

The compendium noted that there has been progress in terms of formulation and notification of standards for technical textiles since the last Seminar in 2011. Since then, twenty one standards have been printed and sent for notification and for another nine, drafts have been finalised and are under printing according to FICCI-E&Y-Wazir & Ministry of Textiles Compendium on Standards. Similarly, there are over three dozen draft standards which are in various stages of finalisation.

A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI noted, "Standards play an important role in the growth and sustainable development of manufacturing sector and that is why FICCI is trying to work with BIS in those areas where absence of standards is constraining growth of those sectors. One such sector is technical textiles which is a nascent industry and needs standards for the better quality of life. A dynamic manufacturing eco-system, in order to learn and grow, needs to have good regime of Standards." "In the absence of technical standards, it becomes easy to import poor quality pro

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