CHENNAI: India has set an ambitious $50 billion target for its textile exports by 2010, union minister of state for textiles Dhananjaya Kumar said on Saturday.
This would be achieved through “modernisation of production process, value addition, increasing productivity and tax concessions for import of equipment and raw material”, he told reporters, after inaugurating a seminar on Enhancing silk exports here.
He said exports last year were worth $7 billion, which, he said, was 35 per cent of the country’s total export earnings.
Silk exports had immense possibilities, he said adding efforts were on to boost silk exports in a big way in the coming days. Silk exports last year were to the tune of Rs 1780 crore and it was expected to touch Rs 2000 crore this fiscal.
The minister said United States was the world leader in silk consumption with an annual import of $2.5 billion. The major chunk of silk import was from China and Hong Kong (over 70 per cent), followed by Italy (12 per cent) and India accounting for a meagre four per cent.
Dhananajaya Kumar said it was planned to instal at least 50,000 powerlooms in the textile sector this year and liberal import of second hand power looms had been allowed with a view to upgrading the production process.
He said a textile upgradation fund had been constituted by the textile ministry from which a sum of Rs 4500 crore had been allotted last year for various textile units.
He said silk industry was also being upgraded with new varieties of silk being introduced, adding in fact the present production of 15,000 tonnes of silk was far lesser than the domestic demand of 21,000 tonnes.
Biovoltine, a new variety introduced by the central silk board in states like Karnataka was a great success, he said, adding 600 tonnes of this new silk variety had been produced last year.The idea was to produce at least 5000 tonnes of this variety by the end of the tenth plan period.
He said Indian silk could withstand competititon from countries like China if more value addition was resorted to and special products were exported as per the taste of the importing countries.
Earlier, inaugurating the seminar, the minister called for intensive R&D efforts and improved training facilities for the workforce of the silk industry. The seminar was organised by the nodal centre for upgradation of textile education (NCUTE), central silk board (CSB) and other related institutions. (PTI)