An NRI investor from UK raised the largely unaddressed question on demonetisation at the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit on Thursday. At a session on textiles, moderated by Textiles Commissi-oner Dr Kavita Gupta, which was also attended by Union textiles minister Smriti Irani, the government also came in for sharp criticism by an industry titan on its ambiguity on technical textiles.
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As Gupta asked a panel comprising textile stalwarts on the roadmap for “technical textiles” at the session, Mohan Kavrie, MD of Supreme Nonwovens, said that the governments and successive textile commissioners had been promoting technical textiles for the past 15 years and urged the audience that it was “time to act”.
A Gujarat-origin participant at the session, Ratilal Govind, Labour councillor for Evington Ward, Leicester (UK), told the paper he was representing a diverse group of potential investors from there who wish to invest in the textile sector of Gujarat and export globally. He asked the panel on the guidelines to set up business in Gujarat and his concerns on demonetisation. Govind said, “Under the current climate, which we are following, and the trend that Narendrabhai has recently done in removal of the currency, what assurance would be there for us who wish to invest here?” Gupta did not respond to this and asked him to check the DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) website.
In the discussion, panelist Tushar Patel, MD of Sanrhea Technical textiles Ltd and president of Ahmedabad Management Association, highlighted the government’s ambiguity and lack of data on the technical textiles sector. Patel said, “All these white papers, put out by government bodies, are summaries and statistics databases, nothing to drive really — the man who wants to get into technical textiles.I am into the mobiltech (automotive textiles) that enhances strength of lot of rubber products. Mobiltech happens to be the largest segment in this and when I come back to the (point about) the government having ambiguities – there are so many things the government doesn’t know about the depth of this industry which is not put into a policy or promotion matter that dissuades guys in it..Imports are coming into this country and eating into ‘Make India’ shining glory segment of textile industry. Every month, container loads of materials are coming in — like conveyer belts and who is the biggest buyer of conveyer belts — (it is) the Steel Authority of India & Coal India.”
He added, “Nowhere in the world do you use nylon conveyer belts — it’s polyester and it’s cheaper and we have been making a more expensive product here. That data had to be from the government’s side…again that was lack of data on a semi-government body. We have to start off from our government and semi-government bodies’ side to bring up more clarity and awareness.”
Reacting to Patel, Gupta said his input was very “insightful” and added that they were having a seminar on technical textiles on Januray 18, urging him to come up with specific suggestions on what capacities the dept requires.