Textile policy aims to harness state's cotton output

Representative image. AFP Photo

North Karnataka accounts for 6% of India’s total cotton production. But this has failed to strengthen the state’s spinning mills as 90% of the cotton produced is sent to neighbouring states.

The government’s new Textile and Garment Policy (2019-2024), which was approved by the Cabinet on Thursday, promises to address this. Under the new policy, the government plans to invest Rs 1,582 crore over a period of five years.

The government also hopes to generate 5 lakh jobs, apart from seeking to attract investment worth Rs 10,000 crore. 

The North Karnataka region produces nearly 40 lakh bales of cotton per year. At present, there are about 850 ginning units in Karnataka. The new policy will support the development of these units by modernising technology, skill development and promoting increase in cotton production.

According to the policy document, there are only 17 spinning mills in the state.

"The mill sector is facing problems owing to outdated machinery and lack of labour, apart from increasing power costs," it said.

That apart, the policy talks about increasing handloom exports and diversification of silk industry by allowing more private sector involvement in sericulture.

A recent CAG report had found that the state's textile policy (2013-18) had failed and the government achieved only 63% of the Rs 10,000 crore investment target in the sector, apart from achieving only 8.9% of the 5 lakh job target.

Under the new policy, the textile sector has been classified into four zones - Kalyana Karnataka (KK) region, all areas other than municipal corporations/district headquarters in non-KK region, all municipal corporations/district headquarters in non-KK region and Bengaluru Urban/Rural districts. 

The government has also decided to give power subsidy to all activities in the textile and garment industry. The subsidy will be valid for five years, beginning from the date of commercial production, according to the policy. The subsidy varies depending on the size of the enterprise and the chain of production. 

 

COMMON BULLET BOX

Measures to be taken

* Budget requirement during the policy period: Rs 1582.17 crore.

* Supporting production of cotton in the state

* Modernising spinning mills

* Skill development at all levels of textile and garment production

* Increasing handloom exports

* Promotion of private sector involvement in sericulture

 

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