The year 2009-10 was a challenging year for the Indian textiles industry. Even as the Indian economy recovered rapidly from the slowdown caused by the global financial crisis, inflationary trends and volatility in commodity prices led to strong demand side pressures. Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Textiles, under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Thiru. Dayanidhi Maran conducted policies to achieve faster and inclusive growth and participatory development.
The objective was to maintain the incipient export growth momentum, increasing production and productivity in cotton and cotton yarn, enhancing value addition in garmenting and apparel sectors, promoting rich heritage of handlooms and handicrafts, institutional strengthening in jute sector, and enhanced acreages under mulberry production and safeguarding employment opportunities.
The strength of Indian economy has been optimally leveraged for attracting larger capital flows and foreign direct investment. The Government, besides providing fiscal stimulus, increased the plan allocation from Rs 4,090 crore to Rs 4,500 crore, encompassing an enhanced allocation of Rs 3,140 crore for Technolgy Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS).
These measures enabled the textile industry to face the recessionary conditions. As the year came to an end it became evident that cotton yarn and cotton exports had recovered significantly. Additional stimulus packages were extended to handlooms and garments sector to help cushion the recessionary impact. Programmes for modernisation of handlooms, powerlooms, handicrafts, sericulture and wool sector were launched. The welfare and well being of workers was ensured, particularly those engaged in decentralised sectors through rigorous implementation of social security and health insurance programmes.
Substantial efforts have also been made to bridge the skill deficit in textiles sector by conceptualising a flagship programme called the Skill Development Programme to improve the skill base of 30 lakh workers employed in the sector over a five year period.
*Data-Courtesy Minsistry of Textiles - Goverment of India - www.exmin.nic.in