President to lay foundation stone of textile mill: Vaghela

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Mumbai, Sep 5 (UNI) Union Minister for Textiles Shankersinh Vaghela today said President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will lay the foundation stone for the greenfield project, being set up by National Textile Corporation (NTC), tomorrow at Achalpur in Amravati district of Maharashtra.

Speaking at a news conference here, he said the National Textile Corporation in Achalpur would help generate 1,000 to 1,500 jobs in the Vidarbha region.

Mr Vaghela said the green field project will be a composite textiles mill, which houses latest machinery comprising 144 shuttleless looms, 48,000 spindles and facilities to dye 4,000 kg of yarn and process 60,000 metres of fabric per day and will provide employment to 1,284 persons. The cost of modernisation will be Rs 236 crore and the first phase will be operationalised by March 2009.

He said NTC will revive 21 mills through Public Private Partnership (PPP) route through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). Of these, ten are in Maharashtra at Hinganghat, Akola, Jalgaon, Dhule, Nanded and Mumbai.

The Minister said NTC is modernising 22 mills through internal resources in two phases. Of these, three mills are in Mumbai namely Tata Mills, Podar Mills, India United Mills No 5 and one mill at Barshi in Solapur district. As part of implementation of Modified Revival Scheme (MRS), the corporation has disbursed Rs 2,118 crore to 59,017 workers as Modified Voluntary Retirement Scheme (MVRS) compensation, he said.

The Minister said the reasons for increase in the production include increasing usage of Bt cotton and the implementation of the Technology Mission on Cotton (TMC). The area under the BT cultivation, which was around five lakh hectares in the cotton season of 2003-04, has gone up to 66 lakh hectares in 2007-08.

He said that the Government is operating the Minimum Support Price (MSP) Scheme through the Cotton Corporation of India Ltd (CCI) to ensure a minimum return to the farmer even in the depressed market conditions. Under commercial operations, 7.65 lakh bales, valued at Rs 921 crore were purchased in the cotton season of 2007-08, compared to 2.71 lakh bales valued at Rs 286 crore in the cotton season of 2006-07. Tweleve lakh quintal of Kapas (cotton with seed) equivalent 2.25 lakh bales valuing Rs 249 crore were procured in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa under MSP operations during 2007-08.

Mr Vaghela informed that the higher exports of raw cotton had an impact on the cotton prices, which shot up to historic highs in the current cotton season. Since October-end 2007 till July 2008, the cotton prices had been higher by around 20 per cent to 40 per cent as compared to last year. The opening cotton prices during the fiscal 2007-08 were higher by around four per cent to 17 per cent as compared to previous year.

This was affecting the viability of textiles mills and on the persistent demand of the industry, the Government abolished import duty of 14.7 per cent and drawback benefits on raw cotton with effect from July 8 this year. This had helped stabilise the prices.

Mr Vaghela asserted that the Indian textiles industry is in a stronger position than it was in the last six decades and it has achieved an annual growth rate of 16 per cent from 3-4 per cent during the last six decades in value terms and will reach the level of 115 billion dollars by 2012.

UNI JM SSS MP HS2105

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