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Cover Story | January 2016

2016: A 'Leap' Year?

Promise of new measures from the Government, much-awaited GST on the cards, hints of the decentralised segments attaining maturity that will spur demand for textiles augur well for the textile industry in 2016 and beyond, recounts an Exclusive Report by Joseph S and Karthik M.

Neither did the Indian textile industry grope in utter darkness nor bask under extremely glorious sunshine: That was 2015! But now, it is looking ahead with fresh hopes for 2016. The best that can happen is a modest jump from the stagnancy that threatens to drown its hopes.

The Technology Upgradation Fund’s hopes have diminished, but some of the Government’s moves have brought glad tidings: For instance, the extension of the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) to more areas and a promise of cutting excise on man-made fibres. There are enough indications that the textile industry will get its due in the coming year.

The textile machinery industry has just returned from the mega show of ITMA at Milan in Italy. For the first time, a record 141 exhibitors from India showcased their products. Gayatri Textile Machines is a small, upcoming company from Ahmedabad. Its Director, RR Patel, was excited on the penultimate day of the ITMA Milan. “I got very good enquiries, especially from South American companies for our cot grinding machine,” he said, showing a 100 per cent indigenous cot grinding machine he has brought to Fiera Milano to show to prospective buyers. AK Pal, General Manager (Products & Application), The Indian Card Clothing Co Ltd, Pune was absolutely thrilled: “Big companies like Vardhman have evinced keen interest in our new launch, Flat Top Measurement Device for cards.

We have already got some orders and repeat orders will follow.” Though India made not have scored big marks in sophisticated textile machinery, but there are enough areas where they have captured the attention of global buyers.

Corporates have done their homework. India has created giants in home textiles, and fashion garments are raring to take off. Raymond’s team consisted of 40 member and a 12-member team from Bombay Rayons and Fashion Ltd (BRFL) were among the prominent players at the ITMA Milan, scouting for latest machinery and accessories. Even the Indian exhibitors reported good crowds from India showing immense interest. Apart from Asian countries, what was of more interest to exhibitors were visitors from South American countries, where there is a boom in textile activities.

India cotton production has reached a milestone as No. 1 globally. Despite the drawback in China’s reluctance to lift cotton and yarn, the industry seems to have found willing buyers from other countries including even Pakistan, the latter keen to fill the gaps arising out of loss of cotton due to floods.

Speaking on the prospects of cotton in 2016, J Thulasidharan, Managing Director of The Rajaratna Mills (P) Ltd, Palani said, “Globally, there is a slowdown as far as textile and clothing industry is concerned. This is due to continuous fall in petroleum price and subsequently polyester price. There is a small shift from cotton to synthetic cotton world over except India. So there is small drop in cotton production in India. But there is a big inventory pile-up world over. Now, Pakistan is also buying cotton from India due to some floods and other adverse conditions – only some finer and special varieties. Cotton has become a political subject in India. Our farmers have lost money in cotton. Very recently the Government has taken a decision to pass on the subsidy directly to farmers. This is good. Cotton arrivals have already started, just one month after Diwali. Already globally, 51 per cent of the requirement is there, and

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