Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Nov 27, 2004
Industry & Economy
Joint venture partners being sought to revive jute mills
New Delhi , Nov. 26
THE Ministry of Textiles is mulling over inducting joint venture partners to run closed jute mills in the country, the Union Minister of Textiles, Mr Shankersinh Vaghela, said.
If this works well, the concept could be replicated for reviving sick textile mills under the holding company, National Textile Corporation (NTC), through the same route, he added.
Addressing media persons here, the Minister said that efforts were underway to revive at least two of the six closed mills of National Jute Manufacturers Corporation.
He said that a high-powered committee under the Chairmanship of Textiles Secretary held its meeting and visited some of the mills on November 8 in Kolkata and a Cabinet note is being prepared based on the report of the committee for revival of two jute mills through induction of joint venture partners.
He said that once this concept succeeds, the effort of the Government would be directed to replicate the same with the revivable textile mills under NTC so that the burden on the exchequer in funding these mills operations would be mitigated.
Mr Vaghela also claimed that his Government had reversed the decision of the previous Government to introduce progressive dilution of the Jute Packaging Material Act, 1987 (use of jute in commodities bag compulsorily) by notifying compulsory packaging to the extent of 100 per cent in foodgrains and 90 per cent in sugar recently.
He said the Plan panel has given in-principle approval to the Jute Technology Mission (JTM) with an outlay of Rs 458.34 crore. He said his Ministry is drafting a note for final approval of the JTM by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
Referring to the implementation of the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme, the Minister admitted that the progress of the Rs 25,000 crore scheme up till now was tardy, as only Rs 6,000 crore had been disbursed.
He said plans were under way to disburse the remaining Rs 19,000 crore in two years' time with the existing subsidy of 5 per cent likely to be increased to eight per cent for making the scheme more attractive.
He said in the current fiscal, against a sanctioned amount of Rs 1,730 core for 557 applicants, the actual disbursals were to the tune of Rs 956 crore for 457 applicants during the first half.
He said the country has a huge potential in the export market once the quota regime in global trade in textiles and clothing goes by the end of the current year and felt that China was no threat to India on certain textile products in which India had traditionally been strong.
He said the pace of implementation of the Apparel Parks for Exports and "Textile Centre Infrastructure Development Scheme" was being monitored at the level of the Secretary, Textiles, and the Ministry is considering the restructuring of these two schemes in order to enlarge the scope and coverage of the schemes.
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