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Textile sector modernizes to overcome shortage of workers
Nov '09
In the next 1-2 years, there is expected to be a rapid technology up-gradation of machineries in the textile cluster of South Gujarat, particularly, Surat, which is the biggest hub for man-made fabrics in India.

Along with which, around seven, Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) are planned to be set up in Gujarat, which are also expected to invest in the latest hi-tech machinery to save on costs as well as churn out value added fabrics.

Experts from the industry aver that, they are forced to modernise, due to a growing shortage of skilled workers, which is increasing with each passing year and machinery up-gradation will reduce dependence on skilled workers to a large extent.

Speaking exclusively to fibre2fashion, Mr.Ravindra Arya, Vice President, South Gujarat Textile Processors' Association said, “Modernization naturally brings automation and will certainly improve the productivity and quality, as well. Shortage of workers forces us to tolerate indiscipline of time and compromise in quality of workers, leading to loss of productivity and quality.

“Secondly, different finishes and new processing techniques need modern machines with many monitoring and controlling devices, but the only drawback is that modernization requires, huge capital investment, which also has to be matched by good profit margins, but profits are unsure, since textiles business is seasonal and whenever there is slack season, interest payments create huge burdens on the investor”.

When asked about the major hurdles being faced by the Indian textile sector in current scenario, Mr Arya replied by saying, “There is huge shortage of workers and they have to be recruited from several states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa etc and in recent times a new trend has started emerging, that of workers not returning after the harvesting season is over”.

He added by saying, “The reason is mainly the schemes run by Central and State Governments for the unemployed, in which, they give a handsome allowance if the person is unemployed and the schemes are so attractive, that these workers prefer to stay at home, rather than coming to Gujarat for employment.

The other challenge is the slow pace of modernization, for which there are several reasons, main culprit among them, being the irrational excise duty structure, but other than that, we do not see any major hurdle except that the profitability in the sector is still not satisfactory enough, as a result of which the requirement of margin money against the huge borrowings required for modernisation is still an issue.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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