While COVID-19 has disrupted India's unorganised weavers and artisans in the textile industry, the Union Ministry of Textiles has launched a slew of incentives to resurrect the ailing sector.
Setting up of government sponsored e-market place (GeM) to enable artisans and weavers to sell their products directly to various government departments and organisations, engaging 23 e-commerce entities for online marketing of handloom products and encouraging state governments to increasingly use handloom products are some of the key measures. Further, setting up Design Resource Centres in Weavers Service Centres (WSCs) and financial assistance for raw materials, purchase of looms and accessories, design innovation, product diversification, infrastructure development, skill upgradation, lighting units, marketing of handloom products and loan at concessional rates are some of the other projects being implemented, Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textiles, informed Rajya Sabha, today.
As policy initiatives, the government has set up a National Technical Textiles Mission with total outlay of Rs 1,480 crore and abolished the anti-dumping duty on Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA), a critical input for man-made textile fibre and yarns, besides various schemes being implemented in the past few years, she said.
The government has conducted a study, 'Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Indian silk industry' to ascertain the crisis, as the industry is faced with various problems of production, cocoon and raw silk prices, transportation problem, non-availability of skilled workers, sale of raw silk and silk products, working capital and cash flow, reduced export and import orders, besides restrictions.
After interacting with the industry, the government is finalising a list of potential export products against which exports of textile and apparel can be enhanced.
In order to make the textile sector competitive by rebating all taxes/levies in international market, the government has decided to continue the RoSCTL (Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies) scheme until such time the RoSCTL scheme is merged with Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme. For this purpose, the Government has approved adhoc allocation of funds of Rs 7,398 crore for FY 2020-21 for issuance of duty credit scrips under RoSCTL scheme, she said.
The government is also implementing the venture capital fund for power loom and Allied Products and Services (TEX-Fund), for providing equity investment to micro and small enterprises in the powerloom sector to boost innovation in the industry by creation of brands and generation of intellectual property and enable development of the powerloom sector and allied activities. The fund has a minimum corpus of Rs 35 crore with the government's contribution of Rs 24.50 crore and the Small Industries Development Bank of India has a minimum contribution of Rs 10.50 crore. The SIDBI Venture Capital Limited (SVCL) is the Investment Manager of the TEX-Fund, said the Minister.