The Surat-based power loom weaving sector in Gujarat appears to be sceptical of the Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of Efficient Textile Technologies (SAATHI) initiative announced by the central government.
As per the SAATHI initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a public sector entity, under the ministry of power, is supposed to procure energy efficient power looms, motors and rapier kits in bulk which would be provided to small and medium power loom units at no upfront cost.
Demonstration projects and workshops are scheduled to be organised in key power loom clusters like Erode in Tamil Nadu, Surat in Gujarat and Ichalkaranji in Maharashtra, in order to kick start implementation of the SAATHI initiative.
The initiative would enable the use of such energy efficient equipment at power looms, which would result in power savings and cost savings to unit owners who are supposed to repay EESL in instalments over a period of four to five years.
The Pandesara Weavers' Co-operative Society Ltd (PWCSL) President Ashish Gujarati said that the EESL is yet to install the equipment at large units on a trial basis before they are installed at small and medium units.
He maintained that most of the small and medium weaving units are shut for a month-long Diwali vacation after GST was implemented and it is yet to be known whether they will reopen.
Federation of Gujarat Weavers' Welfare Association (FOGWA) President Ashok Jirawala said that the central government focus on Gujarat with its schemes and initiatives is election oriented, adding that energy efficient equipment is costly, which many small unit owners would not be able to afford.
However, the Synthetic and Rayon Textile Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC) has welcomed the initiative.