Concerns of textile industry will be addressed: PM

March 18th, 2008 - 4:40 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Terming the textile industry a strategic sector for the economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said his government will address all its concerns and launch a technology mission to support orderly growth. “I assure you my government will be there to help this vital industry,” he told the golden jubilee celebrations of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry. “I believe the textile sector has a strategic role in our industrial economy.”

The prime minister said his government had already set the process in motion for a technology mission for the textile industry to promote and support new growth areas, with innovative approaches.

“Our challenge in the 11th plan (2007-12) is to increase the skill base to make the sector competitive. The National Skill Development Mission has already identified this as a thrust area of endeavour,” he said.

Manmohan Singh also said that the government was examining a suggestion to link the guaranteed employment scheme for the masses with the textile industry, given its potential to create new jobs.

“The textile sector has been a major pillar of India’s industrial economy for more than one reason, but importantly because of its employment potential. We cannot ignore this dimension.”

According to the prime minister the dismantling of the Multi-Fibre Agreement had thrown up major challenges and his government had taken three initiatives to make this industry globally competitive.

He listed them as ensuring a stable policy environment, support to modernisation by financing technology upgrades and extension of help to build global brands for Indian textiles.

“With the dismantling of Multi-Fibre Agreement there is now a new opportunity, but we must make up for lost time,” he said, adding that many of the other Asian countries, including in the neighbourhood, have since overtaken India.

The prime minister said he was aware of the hardship faced by the textile sector due to the hardening rupee. “But I am sure you have the enterprise and business acumen to deal with this challenge and improve your competitiveness.”

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