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Surat’s MMF textile industry facing restart issues

May 27, 2020
Surat’s MMF textile industry facing restart issues

Even as the state government relaxed lockdown guidelines for industrial units to improve economic activity across the state, Surat’s Rs 50,000 crore man-made fabric (MMF) industry is still grappling to resume operations. Surat is India’s largest MMF hub catering to 45 per cent of the country’s MMF demand.

Faced with the mass exodus of migrant labourers and subdued demand of fabrics, the industry has started with 30,000 powerloom machines, which is 20% of the installed capacity of 6.50 lakh machines.

Ashish Gujarati, president of Pandesara weavers association said, “At present less than 10 lakh meters of fabric is weaved every day as against the installed capacity of 4 crore metres. The production will continue till the time the weavers have yarn stock with them.”
Industry sources said the powerloom units have resumed operation to safeguard their yarn stock, which was gathering dust in the units for the last 60 days.

The MMF textile chain is finding it difficult to resume operation with about 95% of the textile markets shut. About 155 textile markets housing over 55,000 textile shops are located in the red zone and the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has not given permission to the traders to resume operation.

“There are a host of challenges faced by the MMF sector. The textile markets are yet to resume, weavers are drained of working capital and they don’t have liquidity to purchase fresh raw material. On the other hand, the demand of MMF fabric is yet to come from the domestic markets,” said Bharat Gandhi, chairman, Federation of Indian Art Silk Weaving Industry (FIASWI).

Over 200 powerloom units, out of the total 2,300 units, have restarted in Sachin GIDC and the majority of them are manufacturing viscose fabric for suiting and shirting.

Mahendra Ramoliya, chairman of Sachin GIDC notified area told TOI, “Viscose yarn was lying in the godowns for almost two months and the stock has to be utilised before monsoon season before fungus growth. However, the viscose units have started operation, while majority of the powerloom units are yet to start.”

Jitendra Vakharia, president, South Gujarat Textile Processors Association (SGTPA) said, “About 40 textile mills will be operational after May 25. The retail stores and wholesale cloth mandis in majority of the states have started operations and we believe the demand may come in the next fortnight, if there is no further lockdown announced by the government.”