New Delhi: Nine Union ministers shared their thoughts on strategies to transform the textile sector of the country, at Textiles India 2017 today. Detailed discussions were held on the concluding day of the 3-day mega trade fair, being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
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The minister said that as the younger generation wants a change in speed, various measures are being taken promptly. He pointed out all people of the country are happy with the introduction of GST.
Exploring growth potential of technical textiles in building India
A session chaired by Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari was held on “Exploring Growth Potential of Technical Textiles in building India”. Addressing the gathering, the minister said that geosynthetic fibers have huge potential in the construction of roads and ports in the country, adding that it must be cost-effective and done without compromising on quality. Gadkari said that the problems of the country are different from region to region; he said that we should hence encourage innovation, research and entrepreneurship. The minister said that converting knowledge into wealth is the most important need of the future. Tamta said that his ministry is committed to providing innovative textile technology to various sectors like agriculture, defence, health, sports construction and environment.
In his address, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya said that the textiles and clothing industry has a great potential for creating good jobs. He added that Textiles India 2017 has been a momentous occasion for giving a fillip in this direction.
In her address, the Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani said that Textiles India 2017 has proved that textiles sector was the sleeping giant that is now roaring as the “Make In India” lion. She added that the outcomes of the event should lead from one milestone to another, in achieving the objectives of making India the leading textile manufacturing hub.
Seven conferences were held earlier in the day, consisting of one global conference of ASEAN countries and six national conferences, on various topics concerning the textiles sector.
Productivity and product diversification challenges for natural fibres
As chair of the national conference on “Productivity and Product Diversification Challenges for Natural Fibres”, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that natural fibres are the backbone of Indian textile industry. He noted that natural fibre production involves million of farmers and the industries using them create rural jobs. Singh said that despite stiff competition from synthetic fibres, the demand for natural fibres is steadily increasing with a growing population. The minister said that given the limitation in increasing area under cultivation, the only way to improve production is increasing productivity. He said that introduction of high-yielding varieties, best agronomical practices, efficient fibre extractors and effective utilisation for diversified products will improve productivity. He said that this is the right time for all stakeholders to discuss and formulate a suitable strategy to increase the productivity of all natural fibres. The textiles minister added that steps will be taken for regular exchange of information, knowledge and best practices between the two ministries.
India as a sourcing hub and investment destination
Sharing her thoughts as Chair of a session on making India a sourcing hub and investment destination for the world, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman recounted the historical fact that the Indian textile sector had attained global eminence long before many other sectors could establish themselves. Noting that India itself is a very big market, the minister said that the industry needs to tap opportunities in both domestic as well as international markets. She said that at every stage of the 5-F formula given by the Prime Minister, India is the best sourcing platform. She highlighted the importance of interest subvention in lowering the cost of capital for the industry. Sitharaman said that GST is going to be a big blessing for the sector. Noting that the strength of the sector lies in its niche areas, the minister highlighted the need for greater creativity in the industry. Addressing some questions from industry representatives, the minister spoke of the need to convert challenges into opportunities and reminded them that India has taken a principled position to have a duty-free and tariff quota restriction – free relationship and trade with LDCs.
CEO, NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant highlighted the importance of size and scale, as well as agility and speed to market, innovation and digitisation of the entire supply chain of the textiles sector.
Potential of man-made fibres in the country
Chairing a session on “Potential of Man-Made Fibre in India”, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananthkumar said that man-made fibres are gaining wide applications in both conventional and technical textiles. He said that considering the global shift towards man-made fibres, India is focusing on establishing itself as a supplier of quality manmade textiles and apparel for the global market. The minister highlighted the major opportunities for investment in MMF textiles to be in the following broad areas: import substitution, growing segments in international trade and domestic market opportunities. He added that a group will be formed for synergy between his Ministry and Ministry of Textiles, for addressing challenges and opportunities jointly.
Skilling requirements in high-value chain in textile sector
The session on skill development was chaired by the Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy. The minister said that Skill India is an integral part of both Make in India and Textiles India. Rudy said that a key question facing the skill sector is that of creating a basic first-level skilling ecosystem in the country. Citing examples of various beneficiaries, the minister highlighted the need for short-term skill development programmes and formal interventions for skilled manpower. He said that work is being done in this direction by his Ministry, to address the questions of how, for whom, where, curriculum, content, examination, certification and employment as it relates to the skill development requirements of the country. Noting that maximum employment in the organised workforce happens in the textiles sector, the minister asserted his confidence in building a robust skill development ecosystem in the country, in line with the vision of the Prime Minister.
Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta said that the 65 MoUs signed during Textiles India 2017 will contribute towards improving the skill development scenario in the textiles sector.
Carving a niche for Indian handcrafted goods in international market
Chairing another parallel session, Union Minister of Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma said that our rich heritage and culture is our identity & strength and that the motive of today’s conference was to explore how we can take this rich heritage of the country to all corners of the world. Speaking about GST, Sharma said that the government of India has taken a historic step in the field of taxation, due to which no artisan or craftsman of our country will henceforth face any partiality regarding tax on their products. He also mentioned the initiatives his ministry has taken to give a unique identity to every artisan, craftsman and artist of the country.
In his valedictory address, the Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, M Venkaiah Naidu said that the government is committed to making India a global textiles and apparel manufacturing hub; he said the government will continue to work in close collaboration with industry and academia, to ensure that the textile sector flourishes. Naidu said that the government had brought in several enabling policies and schemes in the manufacturing sector, particularly in textiles, to make India the foremost manufacturing hub. He highlighted that considering the potential of the sector to create employment, attract investment and increase exports, the government approved a special package for apparel sector in June 2016 and a special package for made-ups in December 2016. He said Textiles India 2017 has successfully managed to demonstrate India’s strength as a sourcing and investment destination of the world.
The MoS for Textiles addressed the valedictory session, too. The event proceedings at Mahatma Mandir came to a close with a vote of thanks by Secretary, Textiles, Anant Kumar Singh. The textiles exhibition at Helipad Ground, Gandhinagar will remain open till 10 PM today.
A global conference of ASEAN countries was also held today. Delegates from all ASEAN countries participated in the conference. The conference had two sessions, one on “Building value chains in Textile Sector” and another on institutional framework for promoting collaboration in textiles between India and ASEAN countries.
Renowned national and international speakers from different fields shared their thoughts during the above conferences. Gautam Nair (MD, Matrix Clothing), Christain Schindler (Director General, International Textile Manufacturers Federation), Rohana Kuruppu (CEO, Brandix College of Clothing Technology), Richard McCallum (Managing Director, UKIBC), Philip Mc Goldrick (International Technical Director, Strata Geosystem), Prof Ing Thomas (Chairman, ITA), Rosy Greenleese (President, World Craft Council), Prof Abdul Jabbar Khan (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology), Li Long (Professor in Sericulture Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China) and YJ Kim (Senior Consultant, Asia PTA DMT Polyesters) are some amongst them.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated Textiles India 2017, India’s first ever international mega textiles trade fair, on Friday, 30 June. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that Textiles India 2017 would help global & Indian leaders in evolving an enabling policy environment for the textiles industry in the country.
Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu and Ministers representing Gujarat, Telangana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Assam and Karnataka attended the event.
Global citizens from 106 countries, 15,000 Indian buyers and sellers, 2,500 international buyers, international delegates and representatives and artisans and weavers had come under one roof, for Textiles India 2017, an event that brought together textiles, traditions and technology. The event is in line with the Prime Minister’s desire to strengthen the entire Indian textile value chain, comprising the journey of ‘Farm to Fibre, Fibre to Fabric, Fabric to Fashion and Fashion to Foreign’.