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The Indian Textile Journal - March 2008 Viewpoint
TUF Times, Tough Decision

Barring a hike in the Technology Upgradation Fund, the Budget 2008-09 has by and large ignored the textile industry. At a time, when the textile industry's exports have suffered with a fall of 22% in one year, FM has disappointed with his omissions on issues such as rationalisation of import duties on fibres. The industry was hoping for some relief in the form of reduction in excise and custom duties on plant and machinery, refund of State-level duties and reduction in interest rates. 

Every year, the sanctioned amount under it has been doubling and in 2005-06, it touched Rs 16,000 crore. Last year's figure was Rs 36,000 crore, which reflected the textile industry's increasing optimism on the importance of modernisation in the context of globalisation. Total production of cloth has increased from 42,034 million sq metres during 2001-02 to 48,314 million sq metres during 2005-06 registering an annual growth of 3.57 % during the last five years. The relative share of production of cloth from mill, handloom, powerloom (including khadi, wool, silk) and knitting sector is about 3 %, 13 %, 63 % and 21 % respectively during 2005-06. The growth rate of clothing industry has almost doubled over the last 8 years and the knitted segment has grown faster than woven garments. The estimated production of this industry is about 8,000 million pieces with market value of US$ 28 billion. (RMG export during 2005-06 was US$ 8.2 bn, which recorded a 32% growth; with RMG exports to US & EU countries showing high growth rate). But, do we realise that today India's biggest spinner has a capacity of 5 lakh spindles while in China, the leading spinning company has a capacity of 30 lakh spindles. The biggest weaver in India has a capacity of 152.5 million metres while the figure for China is 850 million metres. Let the textile industry reminds itself of the words of a great doyen of industry: "Our dreams have to be bigger. Our ambitions higher. Our commitment deeper. And our efforts greater."

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