A comprehensive scheme for the development of the knitting and knitwear sector with various components under PowerTex India scheme was launched on Thursday by the Union textiles ministry, aimed at boosting major clusters in India, including Tirupur (Tamil Nadu), Ludhiana and Kolkata. There are 8 components under this comprehensive scheme which include creation of new service centres through the public-private partnership (PPP) model by industry\/associations in the knitting and knitwear clusters; modernisation and upgradation of existing powerloom service centres, institutions run by textile research associations\/export promotion councils associations; group workshed scheme; yarn bank scheme; common facility centre scheme for the units; Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme; solar energy scheme and facilitation, IT, awareness, studies, surveys, market development and publicity, according to a document. The objective of creation of new service centres (NSCs) on the PPP model is aimed at providing adequate facilities for testing, training, sample development, consultancy, trouble shooting and facilitation services. An association will be formed by the units to run the service centres. First-in-first-out rules will be followed in case of testing samples. The recurring expenditure for running the KSCs will be borne by the stakeholders A financial assistance of Rs 2 crore per centre will be provided towards purchase of testing equipment and machineries for training. Under the modernisation and upgradation of existing PSCs component, the Union government will provide financial assistance towards incurring expenditure to the exsiting powerloom centres run by the textile research associations or any other associations. A financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh per centre will be provided by the textile commissioner to modernise such centres. ALSO READ: Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen disses Ayushman Bharat, says Modi should focus on primary healthcare The group workshed scheme component is aimed at establishing group worksheds for installation of modern knitting and knitwear machines in an existing or new clusters. There will be an additional subsidy for construction of dormitory for workers. The yarn bank scheme is aimed at enabling small units to purchase the yarn at wholesale rate and in large quantities by avoiding middle man\/local suppliers\u2019 charges by way of providing interest-free coupons fund to a special purpose vehicle (SPV). The Union government shall provide an interest-free corpus fund, maximum of up to Rs 2 crore, per yarn bank to SPV. The common facility centre (CFC) scheme will enable to establish centres in various clusters and provide pre- and post-knitting infrastructure to the group. These centres will house design centre, studio, testing facilities, training centre, trade centre, common raw material\/yarn\/sales depot, water treatment plant, among others. An assistance of Rs 4 crore will be made available for for setting up CFCs, including yarn depot. According to the document, the Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme aims to provide adequate and timely financial assitance to the units to meet their credit requirement, investment needs in a flexible and cost effective manner. The scheme will be implemented in all knitwear clusters across the country. The Solar Energy Scheme\u2019s prime objective is to provide financial assistance\/capital subsidy to small sector and allied industry units for installation of solar phto voltaic plant to avoid power cut. Knitting units having upto 6 machines and knitwear units having upto 50 stitching machines are eligible for this scheme. The union government will provide financial assistance varying from 50% to 90% to the applicants of general category, SC & ST respectively. Under ongrid upto 45KW a maximum of Rs 63,000 will be provided and under offgrid upto 45 KW, a maximum sum of Rs 81,000 will be provided. The knitting is a major segment in the entire textile value chain and this sector contributes 27% of the total cloth production and about 15% of knitted fabric is being exported besides export of knitted apparel. Sanjay K Jain, chairman, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) while welcoming the scheme and hailed it as a historic step which would create value to the bottom of the pyramid. Since the knitting and knitwear industry is predominantly MSME in size and mainly located in decentralised sector, the scheme will help to promote this sector and thereby achieve the inclusive growth in the country and is a positive step to fulfil our Honourable Prime Minister\u2019s Rs Make in India' dream. According to him, the scheme will enhance the sector\u2019s contribution to the nation building as knitting and knitwear sector is one of the major segments of the entire textile value chain and contributes about 27% of the total cloth production and about 15% of knitted fabric is being exported besides export of knitted apparel. He further informed that the share of knitted garments in value terms is about 38% in overall export of clothing. Despite knitwear sector growing at a much faster pace than weaving, it had been neglected till date and all schemes were just targeted for handloom and powerloom sector despite this segment being of similar nature and character, he added.