Denies policy’s claims on capacity-share and that units have been slow on tech upgrade.

Tamil Nadu’s new textile policy has come in for criticism from the spinning industry for its ‘lofty claims and faulty statements’ concerning the sector.

The Tamil Nadu New Integrated Textile Policy 2019, released two weeks ago, claimed that the State holds nearly 60 per cent of the country’s spinning capacity.

This, however, was disputed by the Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association. “It may not be correct to state that Tamil Nadu spinning mills hold 60 per cent of India’s spinning capacity. At no time, it was at 60 per cent. We had reached a maximum of 47-48 per cent of country’s share long back,” Tamilnadu Spinning Mills Association’s chief advisor K Venkatachalam told BusinessLine.

The State continues to be No 1 in the spinning sector but its dominance has waned in the last eight years as Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have chipped away at it. Till a decade ago, Tamil Nadu had nearly 50 per cent of the country’s spinning mills but this is down to 38-40 per cent, he added. As per the policy, out of the 3,376 spinning mills in the country, 2,013 are in Tamil Nadu providing employment to 2.80 lakh people.

According to Venkatachalam, Gujarat has emerged a textile destination as it has both raw materials and infrastructure for value addition in the textile value chain. An attractive textile policy has paved the way for the emergence of large spinning mills.

The TN Policy rankled the spinning industry again when it said that it has not kept pace with technological trends.

“To retain the premier position, mills need to be modernised with latest technologies to increase productivity and production at reasonable cost. Financial assistance for mills provided by the Centre for technology upgradation under Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) has been withdrawn since the launch of Amended Technological Upgradation Fund Scheme (A-TUFS) in January, 2016,” the policy said.

However, Venkatachalam countered stating that 70 per cent of the mills are working with modern and upgraded machinery while the rest 30 per cent are small players that are not organised and may not have upgraded the machinery. Majority of mills have upgraded their machinery to produce quality yarn both for domestic use and exports. It is due to this reason that the Union Textiles Ministry withdrew TUFS to the spinning industry while A-TUFS was introduced from January 2016, he said.

The policy provides a 2 per cent interest subvention for investment on technological upgradation and modernisation in existing spinning mills with a vintage period of minimum 15 years on installed machinery. This may help mills that have not yet upgraded their machinery and also to change the existing 15-year vintage machines for latest ones with ‘auto doffing, link coner’ and other types of semi- and fully-automated machines that are required in the current labour shortage scenario, said Venkatachalam.

Published On : 20-03-2019

Source : The Hindu BusinessLine

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