Sir, what is your reaction to the Budget, particularly from textiles point of view?
I hail the Budget Proposals-2010-11 as growth spurring initiatives for the textiles sector, in particular; which dovetail with economic revival, infrastructure development, agriculture development, inclusive growth and restoring export growth, in general. The creation of National Security Fund will take care of 65 lakh handlooms weavers; while the capitalization of Regional Rural banks likely to help primary cooperative societies lending to Handlooms sector and doubling of corpus of Micro Finance Development Equity Fund from Rs.200 crore to Rs.400 crore will help the artisans and weavers. These measures recognize the role of handlooms and handicrafts in providing employment as well as an instrument to preserve the magnificent and ancient textiles traditions of our country. The interest subvention of 2% on pre-shipment credit for export of handlooms, carpets, small & medium enterprise of textiles sector products has been extended by a year till March 31, 2011. The shortage of skilled manpower is a major constraint faced by the textile industry. To meet the impending requirements, we propose to launch an Integrated Skill Development Scheme to impart employable skills along with job guarantee to 30 lakh persons over a period of five years. Whereas, the initiative will cost Rs.2,214 crore, the Planning Commission has approved Rs.229 crore for the remaining period of the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The proposed Scheme shall have two components – one, to leverage existing resources within the ambit of the Ministry of Textiles and second, private sector will play a major role in this initiative. I am happy that this initiative has been included in the Budget Speech, which will not only help to address the skill deficit but will also ensure that the textiles sector takes a quantum leap forward so as to reach US $115 billion by 2015.
I also hail the initiative of Finance Minister to provide one time grant of Rs.200 crore to 20 Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) installed by dyeing units in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu. This measure will supplement the efforts of Government of Tamil Nadu which had already provided support of Rs.120 crore. Tirupur is a leading export centre mainly for hosiery and provide employment to approximately 5 lakh workforce and this measure will ensure protection of employment and smooth production and export of knitwear from this region. Our recent initiatives for attracting FDI in textiles sector have been lauded in the Economic Survey 2009-10 and Foreign Investment will help us to modernize textiles and clothing industry and aid its integration into the global textiles market.
I also thank the Railway Minister for announcing in her Railway Budget Speech that “Railways will explore the possibility of using Jute Geo Textiles wherever the soil formation of the railway tract is unsuitable and weak”. We had earlier recommended to the Minister of Railways to use Jute Geo Textiles for track repair and for laying of new tracks, which could save the maintenance cost by about 50%. The projected use of Jute Geo Textiles in one year alone would be about 35 thousand MT valued at Rs.132 crores per annum and will benefit not only the Jute industry and farmers but will also save the railways, to a large extent, in terms of maintenance cost.
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