Punjab Govt to set up State Cotton Council soon

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Chandigarh, Jul 12 (UNI) The Punjab Government will soon set up a State Cotton Council for the promotion of textile industry in the northern region, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today.

He was inaugurating an annual conference of Textile Association (India) Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh (PHC) Unit on 'Technological Process Innovation' here today.

He said there was a dire need to improve infrastructure facilities for the growth of the textile industry and to enable it compete in the global market and hoped that this council would prove a milestone in that direction.

He said the State Cotton Council would have members on its board from amongst the cotton growers, textile manufacturers, cotton farm experts and officers of the state government.

The Chief Minister said the basic objective of the council would be to enhance the productivity of cotton and to encourage downstream industries for value addition of cotton within the state. ''As of now only 43 per cent of the cotton grown in Punjab is converted for value addition within the state'', he said.

Mr Badal pointed out that textile and clothing trade was pegged at 440 billion dollars and continued to play a significant role in the global economy. This sector was also an important segment of the Indian manufacturing industry that accounted for over 20 per cent of industrial production and was closely linked with the agricultural and rural economy.

He said that total textile output of Punjab was estimated at Rs 10,500 crore which included Rs 3,250 crore worth exports of knitwear, shawls, made-ups and yarns. The direct and indirect employment of textile activity in Punjab was estimated at 20,00,000 people.

Mr Badal said that Punjab produced approximately 18 to 22 lakh bales accounting for about 11 to 12 per cent of the country's cotton output. The state had one of the Asia's biggest clusters of hosiery and knitwear at Ludhiana with more than 6,000 small scale units.

The government of India had approved three textile parks to be set up in Ludhiana which were already in pipeline.

The Chief Minister informed that about Rs 5,500 Crore had been invested in the textile industry in the state under the Government of India's Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme by installing modern spinning mills, expansion of terry towel and denim units. However, there was further scope to add more modern textile units particularly down stream industries such as wide sheet manufacturing, shirting fabrics, terry towel and denim manufacturing units to consume cotton grown in the state for value addition.

The Chief Minister assured the Textile Association (India) Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh (PHC) Unit that the Government would look into its demand of suitable site for setting up centre of excellence in textile industry at Mohali.


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