Government to set up jute board, plans revival of cotton mills

August 12th, 2008 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 12 (IANS) The central government is planning to form a jute board, merging Jute Manufacturing Development Council (JMDC) and National Centres for Jute Diversification (NCJD), a union minister said here Tuesday. “We are planning to merge JMDC and NCJD to form a Jute Board, for which we have tabled a jute bill in parliament,” Textiles Minister Shankersinh Vaghela told reporters after unveiling a booklet ‘Indian Textiles-The Sunrise Sector’.

He added that the government has already taken up the issue of revival of the Kolkata-based National Jute Manufacturers Corp Ltd (NJMC). The mills under NJMC will be revived through public-private-partnership (PPP), he said.

“We hope that the cabinet committee will approve the revival of these units through PPP project,” he added.

In the proposed PPP project, the government would have 51 percent stake and form the board of governors, while the private company would control 49 percent stake.

However, the private company would have the management control, he said.

NJMC has already spent Rs.9.78 billion in 2005 to give voluntary retirement to around 16,000 workers.

The Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Entreprises (BRPSE) has approved the revival plan of two mills in West Bengal - Kinnison and Khardah - and one in Bihar with the cooperation of private partner at an estimated cost of Rs.12.63 billion.

Asked about the export target of cotton textile industry this fiscal, Vaghela said: “Last year the export of cotton from India was $22 billion. This fiscal we expect 20 percent more.”

Vaghela expects the cotton production to be around 30 million bales this current fiscal, up from around 28 million last year.

The government has also decided to revive the state’s three defunct cotton mills under the National Textile Corp (NTC).

While the Laxmi Narayan Cotton Mill and Sodepur Cotton Mill would be revived via joint venture route, NTC itself would revive the Aarti Cotton Mill, he said.

The decision to open NTC’s three mills in the state is part of the government’s modified revival scheme (MRS) for NTC at a cost of Rs.52.67 billion.

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