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Textiles key to social, economic development

Staff Reporter

Conference on ‘Evolving Trends and Challenges in Textiles’

Photo: K. Ananthan

C.R. Swaminathan, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Southern Region, addressing the inaugural of ‘Comptex 2009’ in Coimbatore on Saturday. –

COIMBATORE: Textiles are a key sector for the country’s social and economic development, chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Southern Region, C. R. Swaminathan, said here on Saturday.

Speaking at the inauguration of Comptex 2009, a conference on ‘Evolving Trends and Challenges in Textiles’ organised by the CII and the Southern India Mills’ Association, he said the development of the sector would help the country achieve double-digit growth. Signs of the global economic recovery were positive.

Textile and clothing exports from the country in 2008-09 were $22.5 billion. Nearly 50 per cent of the textile and clothing production was exported. Textiles constituted 13.5 per cent of the country’s merchandise exports. The government was trying to increase exports through incentives and export promotion events.

Organised retailing in the country grew by 13 per cent to 14 per cent in 2008-09. Apparels were the second-largest segment in this sector with a $2.7 billion market.

The sector needed assistance and solutions to overcome challenges related to power supply, manpower, raw material prices and funds for upgrading technology, he said.

J. Thulasidharan, chairman of the Southern India Mills’ Association, said the sector faced a recession almost once a decade.

This was mainly because of global factors and government policies. The industry had done well when the there was parity between cotton and yarn prices. The domestic industry should get quality cotton, he said.

Further, textile units in competing countries had almost a 15 per cent cost advantage because of the export incentives. As a medium-term measure, the government should exempt all fuel used for power generation from taxes, he said.

K.V. Srinivasan, convenor of the textile panel of the local chapter of the CII, said the Eleventh Five Year Plan called for a double-digit GDP growth by 2012. The textile units should look at several issues to be part of the growth.

Ravi Sam, chairman of the CII, Coimbatore Zone, said the units here should try to build brands.

The CII would support such initiatives. The CII had taken efforts last year to get a Geographical Indication for Coimbatore textiles. The effort should be revived, he said.

D. Senthilkumar, co-convenor of the Textile Panel, CII – Coimbatore Zone, proposed the vote of thanks.

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