Chandrakant Patil, Textile Minister, Maharashtra, in an interaction with ITJ. Excerpts from the interview.
ITJ: How has Maharashtra fared in the last few years in textile projects? What kind of investments have come in?
In Maharashtra, after the declaration of State Textile Policy, a total of 769 projects with investment of Rs 6,690 crore have been established. The investment have come predominantly into the developed textile machinery of spinning and weaving sector.
ITJ: What are the policies that have encouraged the textile industry to invest in Maharashtra?
The State Government´to encourage investors in textile sector´has launched two important schemes; namely interest subsidy and capital subsidy schemes. These schemes are applicable to those units which are covered under the parametres of Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme of the Government of India. There is provision to sanction 10 per cent capital incentive to the units, which are being established in cotton growing areas and 5-7 per cent interest subsidy on loan covered under the TUF scheme, depending upon the category of the project.
ITJ: Maharashtra has good raw materials. What steps are being taken to encourage establishing the value chain in textiles?
Maharashtra is producing about 80 lakh bales of cotton per annum. As against the production, its domestic consumption is just 25 per cent of the total production. In weaving sector, Maharashtra is having extraordinary production capacity of Rs 1,800 crore metre of cloth per annum. Hence, to bridge the gap in between cotton and weaving sector, and subsequently, weaving and marketing of cloth sector, the State Government is emphasising establishment of spinning mills, yarn and cloth processing and garment units at the places of cotton and cloth production concentrated areas.
ITJ: Cotton is becoming a big issue with farmers suffering losses. Are there any steps taken by the Government to alleviate their distress?
If investors are establishing projects into the cotton growing areas, in such cases State Government is sanctioning 10 per cent capital incentive to the said projects, with interest subsidy benefit. Hence, value addition to cotton may alleviate distress of farmers.
ITJ: What are the steps being taken to promote textile clusters and SEZs? Give us some details on the existing new projects in these areas.
The State Government sanctioned 9 per cent subsidy to the cost of the textile park sanction by the Government of India and also providing 10 per cent capital subsidy depending upon the location and interest subsidy to the projects participating into the textile parks.
ITJ: What are the measures being undertaken to encourage modernization and face-lift of the textile industry?
Maharashtra has declared New Textile Policy and having long term plan to face-lift the textile industry. Previously the State Government was not having its independent policy in regards to textile sector.
ITJ: The power looms are having their own problems. Are there any steps being taken up to improve and modernize these looms?
The State Government is not only extending financial benefits to the upcoming modernised units but also promoting upgradation of old and plain power looms by participating into the ´In-situ´ power loom upgradation scheme, which is being implemented by the Government and has covered modernisation.
ITJ: In technical textiles, what steps have been taken to promote investment?
As there is wider scope of production and employment gene