PM is in favour of TUFS extension, says Kamal Nath

New Delhi, Jan 22 | Updated: Jan 23 2007, 05:30am hrs
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has supported the continuation of the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) for the textile sector beyond March 2007, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said on Monday.

In our last meeting with Prime Minister we apprised him other need to have technology upgradation scheme (for the textile sector). Prime Minister himself was supporting it. We are going through the process, he said at the 48th Annual General Meeting of Northern India Textile Mills Association.

TUFS, that provides interest subsidy for modernisation, is slated to expire in March 2007 and the industry has been pushing for extension of the scheme in the 11th plan period.

This issue (the extension of TUFS) is on the table for the government to resolve. With the industry persistent to extend it, government recognises the industrys need, Nath said. He indicated that while extending the scheme it could be modified. TUFS will be streamlined.

Inputs from industry have already been received, the Commerce Minister said.

Responding to the industrys concerns on trade agreements that India is negotiating, he said the textile industry would be the major beneficiary in all the preferential and free-trade agreements.

Nath said as a big country, India has to engage with other nations. Can we say we cannot compete with Bangladesh or Malaysia when we are adding a Malaysia to our middle class every year, he said, adding that five years down the line tariffs would not be an

issue.

Nath said the domestic market would continue to be the biggest revenue generator for the industry as the Indian economy grows.

Earlier, minister of state for textile EVKS Elangovan said the ministry was hopeful of extending the Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks during the 11th plan to cover more textile parks.

In addition to the 26 parks, which were sanctioned earlier, four more textile parks have been sanctioned recently, taking the total number to 30, Elangovan said.

The 26 parks involve a total project cost of

Rs 2,428 crore, of which share of the government would be Rs 866 crore.

These parks would attract an additional investment of Rs 13,445 crore, additional annual production of Rs 19,200 crore and also about 5.29 lakh direct and indirect jobs, the minister added. PTI