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Maharastra mulls special policy for garment sector
Jul '16
Taking cue from the centre's new Rs 6000 crore package to boost the garment sector, Maharashtra is mulling on a niche policy to promote investments in the apparel sector and to generate employment under its 'Make in Maharashtra' plans.

The state industries department is working on the policy which is expected to focus on setting up garment manufacturing units in the cotton belt of Vidarbha and Marathwada, which are infamous for agrarian distress and farmer suicides.

According to senior department officials the policy is being crafted in a way that value addition to raw cotton seeps down to the farmers while generating employment in the region. Describing apparels as a sector that is “low on investments and high on manpower," a senior official said, "we will promote such industries and units in Vidarbha and Marathwada."

“This would create a larger supplier eco-system and increase employment opportunities,” he was quoted in a DNA report. Although Maharashtra already has a policy for the textile sector, yet, the niche policy for garments and apparels will give a further boost to investments, he said.

Some of the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives in the pipeline are: granting land in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas, grant of FSI and allotment of plots for garment and apparel units in the 10 upcoming textile parks in Vidarbha and Marathwada.

The department was also studying the policies of the centre and of other states for the sector. Garments and apparel being a labour – intensive sector, the officials said their focus was on facilitation and ease of doing business so that bottlenecks to investment could be removed and garments sector can emerge as the second largest source of employment in the state after agriculture.

"Our incentives may include sweeteners like the state government constructing major roads, sub-stations and infrastructure and set up of common effluent treatment plants," they said.

The state government has also unveiled special policies for retail trade, electronics with sops such as single-window facilitation, for SC/ST entrepreneurs and for IT and ITeS. It is also working on niche policies for defence production and industrial parks, they said.

According to the Centre's statistics, India is the largest cotton producer and has the second largest textile manufacturing capacity globally with 24% of the world's spindles and 8% rotors. While contributing 14% to industrial production and 4% to India's GDP, the textile industry employs over 45 million people directly.

In June, the Union cabinet had approved a Rs 6000 crore special package for boosting the garments sector with an aim to achieve US $30 billion in exports and investments of Rs74,000 crore over the next three years while creating one crore jobs in the apparel sector (SH).

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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