The much-awaited National Textiles Policy may be announced in another few weeks by the Union textiles ministry. Now is a good time to take a look at what various state textiles policies currently offer the textiles and apparel industry. The objective of this exercise is to see how these individual policies are placed, and stress on the need for the new national policy to work hand in hand with what the respective states bring to the table. Subir Ghosh writes.
In a few weeks from now, possibly during the Budget session of Parliament, the new National Textiles Policy (NTP) may be announced by the Union ministry of textiles. The textiles and apparel industry has been waiting eagerly for the new policy document, which will replace the existing one of 2000, and hopefully provide industry with a much-needed boost. The 2000 policy is hopelessly outdated, given three major international developments: the phase-out of the Multi Fibre Agreement, the emergence of China especially in the field of textiles and apparel, and the 2008 global financial crisis. The world has changed considerably since 2000.
In the meantime, however, a number of Indian states have developed their own textile policies in a bid to boost industry, as well as attract investments. Each of these policies are specific to the respective states, and are obviously meant to reflect their own realities, compulsions and aspirations. All of them have their own positive and negative points, and in some ways are autonomous too. As and when NTP 2016 is announced and comes into play, it will be laying out a new framework and provide directions for a new course.
In an ideal situation, the respective state policies will need to remain in tandem with NTP 2016. A state textiles policy cannot possibly work at cross-purposes with a national one: such a situation will not only create confusion in the minds of one and all-from cotton growers to textile manufacturers and from apparel exporters to retailers; but also create internecine squabbles. While it is too early to speculate on such possibilities, far-fetched or not, it is worthwhile to take a cursory look at various state textile policies already in place.
It is not the objective of this article to make a point-by-point enumeration of each and every aspect about the state textiles policies, but only to see how they stand over all: just as a policy document is essentially meant to.
Money matters of subsidies, exemptions
Individual state textiles policies never provided much for capital subsidies earlier. The first to do so elaborately was Karnataka-as recently as in 2013. Under its Nuthana Javali Neethi 2013-18, the state promised to provide support to industries for investing in different value chains of the textiles sector by providing incentives. The scheme of incentives, their objective, eligibility, and components to be funded and funding patterns were classified into credit-linked capital subsidy and interest subsidy. The state laid more emphasis on the semi-arid, less-developed Hyderabad-Karnataka (HK) region comprising Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Bellary and Gulbarga districts.