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The Indian Textile Journal - September 2008 Viewpoint
Down, But Not Out

There has been only a 7% growth in the domestic production of textile machinery and accessories in 2007 - 08, with the figures for 2006 - 07 rising to Rs 2,997 crore from Rs 2,799 crore in 2007 - 08. The capacity utilisation stands steady at 79%. The domestic manufacturers are happy that the import of textile machinery & components has dipped to Rs 7,500 crore from Rs 9,434 crore. But these crumbs of comfort disappear once they realise that the Indian mills have imported quite a large quantity of textile machinery particularly in weaving, knitting, processing and garmenting, the areas where the Indian industry has not made any headway. The export of textile machinery has also stagnated at Rs 485 crore in 2007 - 08 as against Rs 489 crore in the previous year. The rising demand within the country seems to have absorbed more machinery from the domestic manufacturers, and also tough competition in the export market pulled down the export drive. However, the industry is optimistic that export may pick up in the coming year. Overall, the industry fears that there will be a negative growth during 2008 - 09 too, and holds out hopes only for 2009 - 10. The demand situation at present is dull, and perhaps the India-ITME, which is round the corner, will indicate which direction the industry's fortunes will be headed for in the coming years. 

It is a universally accepted phenomenon that the fortunes of textile industry are cyclic. The downtrend precedes always an uptrend. As a globally well-known textile technologist-cum-innovator commented during ITMA Asia + CITME in Shanghai: "Tell me when has been the textile industry's fortunes have been steadily on the up all these years. In all my 50 years of involvement in the industry, I have seen many ups & downs. But always, the industry bounces back after a fall." 

No one else could have driven the point home better!.

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