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India mulls banning import of used textile machinery

Jun '12
The Government of India is considering banning of second-hand textile machinery that is over five years old.
The textile industry in India, particularly the decentralized sector, prefers import of low cost used machinery from other countries, especially China.
Even today, the second hand shuttleless looms are imported in large numbers, thus negating the possibility of any indigenous development of high-tech shuttleless looms.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is now considering banning of used machinery under subsidy schemes such as the Textile Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS).
Speaking to fibre2fashion, Mr. S Chakrabarty, Secretary General, Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (TMMA), said, “We have been urging the Indian Government since the last four years to stop the menace of import of second hand machinery. Finally, the Government is considering banning used textile machinery that is more than five years old.”
“Although no order has been issued yet, we are hopeful that the Government will soon do something to stop the import of used machinery,” he avers.
Explaining the rationale for banning used machinery, he says, “There is a lot of manipulation done during the import of second hand machinery. Earlier, textile manufacturers even imported 15 years old waterjet looms and claimed the subsidy, which is a very wrong thing.”
“If second hand machines continue to flow in, the domestic industry will never come up. We cannot compete in the international market in the capital goods sector because of the second hand machines,” he adds.
“China has stopped importing second hand machines completely since 1995. If China can survive without the second hand machines, why not India?” he asks.
“Manufacturers of shuttleless looms in India are suffering due to the second hand machines. So, our first move is to stop the import of second hand machines under TUFS. If you are looking at technology upgradation and bringing in second hand machines, then where is the technology upgradation?” he queries.
Elaborating on other disadvantages of used machines, he says, “The second hand machines consume more power, more spares and give less production. They need more man power to run it and they run at half the speed of the new machines.”
“In 2004-05, a study revealed that a textile manufacturer is always better off by importing a new machine. In contrast, 80 percent of the looms imported in India are second hand,” he reveals.
“So, restricting imports of second hand machines is a very good step that is being considered by the Government. It will help the domestic industry to come up. It will enable us to increase our capacities, there will be more employment, more value addition and unnecessary imports of machinery as well as its spare parts will be stopped,” he opines.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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