At the inaugural session of vTexShow, V. K. Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India announced that the Ministry of Textiles is considering a system similar to AP Medical Technology Zone, for the Indian textile engineering industry, to give a fillip to this important sector.
“The Ministry of Textiles realises the need for a more focussed approach for the Indian textile engineering sector, and for supporting innovations in the industry. Till date, the textiles ministry did not give due importance to textile engineering industry, maybe because it came under a different ministry, we may not have been aware of the possibilities or did not look at the sector in the way it was required. At the MoT, we now have a different outlook. Going forward, there will be adequate focus on textile machinery,” Singh said.
Mr Singh cited the example of the AP Medical Technology Zone, which set up systems such that India is now a manufacturer of medical equipment such as CT scanners, ventilators, MRI machines, etc, of international quality and at 1/6th or 1/7th of the price. “We want to set up a similar system for textile machinery. The model is that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We have to attract global players to set up shop here and help them to reduce their costs. We did have a TUFS for the textile industry. Unfortunately, that scheme allowed the import of second-hand machines, with the result that the countries selling their second-hand machines to India invested in the latest technology, while the Indian textile industry remained backward. So what was the fun in allowing import of second-hand machines? Things will be different now, we are working on that,” Singh assured.
‘India can become a hub for textile machinery manufacturing’
Hailing the government’s initiative, G.V. Aras, Director, A.T.E. Enterprises, said that India could well become a global hub for textile machinery manufacturing, with its own captive market and proximity to other textile manufacturing markets. “India’s annual requirement for textile machinery is valued at around Rs 15000 crore. Hardly Rs 6000-6500 crore worth of machinery is manufactured in India, the remaining is imported mainly from Europe, China, Japan. Indian textile machinery manufacturers are quite capable but they lack in latest technology. If TEI is also given some kind of impetus like the textile industry, I’m sure it will help the textile industry to grow further and faster as the cost of capital will come down, availability of machinery and spare parts will be easier. If we can have the kind of zone that Mr Singh mentioned, the Indian TEI will see a lot of joint ventures, if the right infrastructure is provided,” believes Aras.
According to him, the majority of machines that get imported today are the automatic winders, shuttleless looms, processing machines and surprisingly garment machinery too.
Sanjeev Bhartia, Marketing Director, Dhanesh Weaving, pointed out that another important opportunity for the Indian textile engineering industry is recycling machines for sustainable, recycled fibres. “These machines are again imported. The sustainable, recycled fibre manufacturing sector is set to gain momentum in the country. Our project in sustainable, recycled fibre has been delayed due to the pandemic, and the cash crunch.”
“Technology will play a very important role in improving the textile industry’s profitability. The industry will increasingly use digital technologies to improve manufacturing processes. While the current situation may not warrant an immediate investment in new technologies, the industry will be looking to machinery manufacturers and suppliers to get tools for automation of existing machines,” believes Arindam Saha, Associate Partner, PwC India.