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Textile scheme fails to cut ice with Ludhiana industry

The Union ministry’s announcement of a budgetary outlay of ?10,683 crore under the Production linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textile sector has cut no ice with Ludhiana industry. The lament is that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which form a major chunk of the 14,000-odd textile units in the city have been ignored.

The announcement has also disappointed Ludhiana’s bicycle industry, which was hoping to be part of the scheme. The PLI scheme is for textiles, for man-made fibres and apparel and 10 segments/products of technical textiles.

Sudershan Jain, president, Knitwear Apparel Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL, said, “The scheme is for new investment of ?100 crore and ?300 crore, and that too for building, plant and machinery only, while land is excluded.”

He added, “Anyone wishing to make such an investment will need to purchase land. Other condition to be fulfilled is to achieve minimum turnover of between ?200 crore and ?600 crore that too, only in man-made fibre segment, for getting the incentives under the scheme. How many of us in Ludhiana will go for the scheme?”.

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Jain added that even as the Centre wanted to compete with China, this was not possible at all by ignoring the MSMEs, which play an important role in textile clusters in various states. “The MSME sector can also bring turnover, provided they are given adequate incentives on similar lines,” he added.

Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, said, “Over 90% of textile units in Ludhiana are small and medium scale, and the scheme has nothing for them. Only corporates and large-scale industries will stand to benefit.”

Amit Thapar, vice-chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said scheme was definitely beneficial for bigger players. “The scheme will help contribute to economies of scale. However, the threshold limit for investment could have been lower like ?50 crore, instead of ?100 crore. Aspiring MSMEs, wanting to grow can also benefit,” he said.