'India poised to meet Chinese challenge in textiles

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Ahmedabad, Sep 13 (UNI) Union Textiles Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela today said the Indian textiles sector is set to compete with the Chinese industry and the Government has initiated steps to enhance the exports.

Addressing media persons on the UPA Government's achievements in the textiles sector, the Minister said to enhance textile exports, the government has announced a package to offset the effect of appreciating Rupee like increasing the Duty Entitlement Pass Book scheme (EPB) rates by three per cent on textiles, ready made garments and handicraft products like carpets.

Premium rates under the ECGC scheme have also been reduced by 10 per cent and interest rates on pre and post shipments have been cut by two per cent.

He admitted that China is a major threat to the Indian textile sector but Indian business conditions are different.

However, the Government is committed to provide all support to the sector for increasing exports, he asserted.

The Government, under the technology upgradation fund scheme, is also providing funds at much lower rate of interest and has so far attracted 8,595 applications involving a fund of Rs 81,371 crore. The scheme will help in reducing the cost of production of finished textile products, he added.

The Minister said the National Textile Corporation (NTC)has offered VRS to 55,607 employees and Rs 1,946 crores were disbursed to them.

The cash loss of NTC were also reduced to Rs 127 crore in 2006-07 from Rs 403.44 crore in 2001-02.

He said that an Indian Textile Plaza will be setup on the vacant land of Jehangir Textile Mills at Ahmedabad to promote the marketing of textile products.

Lauding the Gujarat farmers for achieving higher productivity of cotton, he said cotton production per hectare in the state had gone up to 516 kg, which increased to 718 kg in the last season and expected at around 800 kg this year. The cotton yield is much higher than that of Pakistan and nearly equals the world average of 733 kg.

He said cotton production in the previous season was 280 lakh bales and expected to rise further in the coming cotton season.

Mr Vaghela said the usage of BT cottonseeds in Gujarat had increased substantially. The area under the cultivation in 2006-07 season was around 17 per cent.

UNI

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