The state plans to design a scheme to develop solar projects to supply electricity to the textile sector at the lowest possible cost. Subhash Deshmukh, minister of textiles, made the announcement at Ichalkaranji. Deshmukh was attending a live broadcast programme of the launch of the Centre’s Power Tex India scheme. Union minister of textiles Smriti Irani had launched the scheme at Bhiwandi in Mumbai and the programme was broadcast at 43 centres nationwide. The scheme was launched to upgrade the existing power looms, marketing, raising funds and develop common facility centres at the textile cities and towns.
After the programme launch, Deshmukh said the state is making efforts to restart closed textile units as well as those that are in bad shape because of market fluctuations. “New technology will be introduced in the sector so that the process of converting cotton to cloth will be accelerated. The power availability issue for the sector will be addressed by designing a scheme to use solar power for textile mills,” he said. Power Tex comprises nine components starting from in situ up gradation of the plain power looms, group work shed scheme, yarn bank scheme, common facility centre, credit scheme for power loom workers, market development and modernisation. The government has also decided to provide a Rs 2-crore subsidy to the textile towns or developing felicitation centres. The centres will also have pre-weaving and post-weaving facilities.
After the presentation, some textile mill operators interacted with Irani through video conferencing. The operators raised the issue of the power availability and skilled workforce to sustain the sector. Deshmukh said, “We have decided to get suggestions from the various stakeholders related to the sectors to implement Power Tex India scheme. Large investments are necessary to help the sector grow. The government’s initiatives will help the local textile mill operators. We have also decided to make the cotton available to small textile units to develop a level playing field.”