The government on Wednesday approved setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission with a total outlay of Rs 1,480 crore with a view to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles. The Mission will have a four year implementation period from financial year 2020-21 to 2023-24.
The decision was taken at a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. "The Mission will aim at average growth rate of 15-20 per cent per annum taking the level of domestic market size to USD 40-50 billion by the year 2024 through market development, market promotion, international technical collaborations, investment promotions and 'Make in India' initiatives," an official statement said.
It envisages export promotion of technical textiles, enhancing it from the current annual value of approximately Rs 14,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore by 2021-22, and ensuring 10 per cent average growth in exports per year up to 2023-24. An Export Promotion Council for Technical Textiles will be set up for effective coordination and promotion activities in the segment.
Addressing a press conference on Cabinet decisions, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said arrangements have been made under the Mission for skill development of 50,000 people in the field of technical textiles. "We have mandated use of technical textiles in 9 ministries and 92 products and our hope is that with convergence of efforts with the technology group we will see a new future for especially MSME and technologists in the field of technical textiles, thereby making India self sufficient specially in strategic fields like defence and aerospace," the minister said.
She observed that the target is to nullify the burden of technical textiles segment on India's trade deficit in the next one year. The minister informed that she had requested the technology group established in the previous Cabinet meeting to work in tandem with the National Technical Textiles Mission. She said the industry has on several occasions in the past raised demands for a technical textiles mission.
The Mission will have four components including research, innovation and development with outlay of Rs 1,000 crore; promotion and market development; export promotion; education, training and skill development. Besides, the Mission will promote technical education at higher engineering and technology levels related to technical textiles and its application areas covering engineering, medical, agriculture, aquaculture and dairy segments.
Skill development will be promoted and adequate pool of highly skilled manpower resources will be created for meeting the need of relatively sophisticated technical textiles manufacturing units, the statement said. Technical textiles are futuristic and niche segment of textiles, which are used for various applications ranging from agriculture, roads, railway tracks, sportswear, health on one end to bullet proof jacket, fire proof jackets, high altitude combat gear and space applications on the other end of spectrum.
In India, the segment is estimated at USD 16 billion (about Rs 1.14 lakh crore) which is approximately 6 per cent of the USD 250 billion (about Rs 17.75 lakh crore) global technical textiles market. The penetration level of technical textiles is low in India, varying between 5-10 per cent against the level of 30-70 per cent in developed countries.
The Mission will focus on usage of technical textiles in various flagship missions, programmes of the country including strategic sectors.
The use of technical textiles in agriculture, aquaculture, dairy, poultry, JalJivan Mission, Swachch Bharat Mission, Ayushman Bharat will bring an overall improvement in cost economy, water and soil conservation, better agricultural productivity and higher income to farmers per acre of land holding in addition to promotion of manufacturing and exports activities in India, it said.
The research output will be reposited with a 'Trust' with the government for easy and assessable proliferation of knowledge gained through research innovation and development activities. Mission Directorate in the Ministry of Textiles headed by an eminent expert in the related field will be made operational. The Mission Directorate will not have any permanent employment and there will be no creation of building infrastructure for the Mission purpose. The Mission will move into sunset phase after four years period, the statement added.