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Viewpoint | October 2014

Sharpen Tech Edge

Better days seem to be on the way, begins the 54th Annual Report of the Textile Machinery Manufacturers Association (TMMA). Then follows a hint of the hopes reposed on the new Modi Government, which has completed over 100 days, filled with more promises than action. Textile machinery industry in India has achieved 15 per cent more production value last fiscal, but the import of machinery has been touching new heights. The total domestic demand for textile machinery during 2013-14 was Rs 11,923 crore of which imported machinery constituted Rs 7,528 crore. Supplies from the domestic machinery industry amounted to Rs 4,395crore, aggregating 37 per cent of the total demand. Statistics reveal that spinning machinery has done exceedingly well. In weaving sector-particularly in the shuttleless loom category-the growth was nil due to uncertain situation created by the unfavourable MMS Scheme under the RR TUFS. Our performance in terms of high-tech machinery is dismal, as far as textile industry is concerned.

As suggested by some experts, there are two ways of approaching this problem. One is, like China start with ventures to assemble good machines and begin sourcing the ancillaries and parts to add values of Indianness to the machines. Simultaneously, there also should be efforts to develop our own technologies. China has done this and today some of its technologies in spinning and processing can rival that of the Europe´s. There were ample proofs of this at the ITMA Asia, which concluded a few months back. The second approach is for all the stakeholders to come together and thrash out what is needed on the technological front. The government-by financing the textile research associations-should help in this. The industry cannot for long give the excuse that 80 per cent of the machinery makers are in SSI. Italy and Switzerland have only a majority of small players in the textile machinery sector. Look at some of the technologies they have developed for the industry!

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