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Textile Industry in India & History

Textile Industry in India is the second largest employment generator after agriculture. It holds significant status in India as it provides one of the most fundamental necessities of the people. Textile industry was one of the earliest industries to come into existence in India and it accounts for more than 30% of the total exports. In fact Indian textile industry is the second largest in the world, second only to China. Textile Industry is unique in the terms that it is an independent industry, from the basic requirement of raw materials to the final products, with huge value-addition at every stage of processing.

Textile industry in India has vast potential for creation of employment opportunities in the agricultural, industrial, organised and decentralised sectors & rural and urban areas, particularly for women and the disadvantaged. Indian textile industry is constituted of the following segments: Readymade Garments, Cotton Textiles including Handlooms, Man-made Textiles, Silk Textiles, Woollen Textiles, Handicrafts, Coir, and Jute. Till the year 1985, development of textile sector in India took place in terms of general policies.

In 1985, for the first time the importance of textile sector was recognized and a separate policy statement was announced with regard to development of textile sector. In the year 2000, National Textile Policy was announced. Its main objective was: to provide cloth of acceptable quality at reasonable prices for the vast majority of the population of the country, to increasingly contribute to the provision of sustainable employment and the economic growth of the nation; and to compete with confidence for an increasing share of the global market.

The policy also aimed at achieving the target of textile and apparel exports of US $ 50 billion by 2010 of which the share of garments will be US $ 25 billion. Strengths of Indian textile Industry • India has rich resources of raw materials of textile industry. It is one of the largest producers of cotton in the world and is also rich in resources of fibres like polyester, silk, viscose etc. • India is rich in highly trained manpower. The country has a huge advantage due to lower wage rates. Because of low labor rates the manufacturing cost in textile utomatically comes down to very reasonable rates. • India is highly competitive in spinning sector and has presence in almost all processes of the value chain. • Indian garment industry is very diverse in size, manufacturing facility, type of apparel produced, quantity and quality of output, cost, requirement for fabric etc. It comprises suppliers of ready-made garments for both, domestic or export markets. Weaknesses of Indian textile Industry • Indian textile industry is highly fragmented in industry structure, and is led by small scale companies.

The reservation of production for very small companies that was imposed with the intention to help out small scale companies across the country, led substantial fragmentation that distorted the competitiveness of industry. Smaller companies do not have the fiscal resources to enhance technology or invest in the high-end engineering of processes. Hence they lose in productivity. • Indian labour laws are relatively unfavorable to the trades and there is an urgent need for labour reforms in India. • India seriously lacks in trade pact memberships, which leads to restricted access to the other major markets.

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