The government will announce the new textile policy, which is expected to be based broadly on the vision document prepared by the Ajay Shankar committee in July 2014, by the end of April.
Textiles minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said on Thursday that the long-awaited policy is “nearing finalisation” and that consultations with all stakeholders are in progress, according to an official statement. “We are mainly focusing on manufacturing of value-added products and export-oriented goods that will benefit the economy,” Gangwar said in Mumbai on the occasion of the Make in India Week.
The vision document by the Ajay Shankar committee had envisaged textile and garment exports worth $300 billion by 2024-25, compared with just over $41 billion in the last fiscal, and favoured a structural transformation whereby the country would ship out only finished products and not raw materials. The panel’s vision document also forecasts textile and garment sales in the domestic market to rise to $350 billion by 2024-25, against roughly $100 billion now.
The textile ministry had initiated the process of reviewing the National Textile Policy, 2000, and accordingly, an expert committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Shankar — who was also the member secretary of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council — to make fresh recommendations. The panel submitted the vision document with the textile ministry in July. Factoring in comments from various stakeholders, the ministry would firm up the final proposals for the new policy and then seek cabinet approval for making them effective.
Notification on labour law relaxation by March 31
Textile secretary Rashmi Verma said some changes to labour laws to make them more flexible are being planned. “We have taken up the matter with the labour ministry. A notification will be issued before March 31 on women being employed for night duty. The labour ministry is writing to all secretaries of states to allow women to work in night shifts.”
The textile and the labour ministries are working together on the rationalisation of wages for contract workers, she added. The ministry will also notify the latest changes to its flagship Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme by the end of this month, she added.