India’s Ministry of Textiles has launched a comprehensive scheme, named PowerTex India, for Development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector. The Ministry has approved combined Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of PowerTex India Scheme and Knitwear Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 487.07 crores. Out of this Rs. 439.35 crore is for PowerTex for 3 years from 1.4.2017 to 31.03.2020 and Rs. 47.72 crores for Knitwear for the remaining period of 2018-19 and for 2019-20.
The scheme was a long pending demand of the industry. Launching the scheme Smriti Irani, Union Textiles Minister, India, also interacted with industry associations related to knitwear sector in three clusters of Kolkata, Tirupur and Ludhiana, through video link.
The main components of the scheme are:
1. Creation of new service centres by providing financial assistance upto Rs 2 crores per knitting and knitwear service centers for adequate facilities for testing, trading, sample development, consultancy, trouble shooting, facilitation services to the knitting and knitwear clusters on PPP model with participation from industry/ association.
2. Modernisation and upgradation of existing PSCs in the knitting and knitwear clusters by equipping the existing powerloom centers run by the TRAs or EPCs or any other textile association with requisite machinery for training/ testing purposes required for knitting and knitwear industries, financial assistance upto Rs 20 lakh/ centre will be provided.
3. Group Workshed Scheme for Knitting and Knitwear unit to facilitate the establishment of group Workshed for modern knitting machines and/or Knitwear which will provide required scale of economy for business operations and improved working condition.
4. Yarn Bank Scheme for Knitting and Knitwear unit to interest free corpus fund to SPVs or consortium of knitting units to enable them to purchase yarn at wholesale rate and give the yarn to the small knitting units, thereby avoiding middleman/ local suppliers brokerage on sales of yarn. The Govt. is providing interest free corpus fund upto Rs. 2 crore per yarn bank.
5. Common facility Centre for knitting and knitwear units to establish CFC in various knitting and knitwear clusters for providing common facilities like processing, dyeing, printing, design development, testing facilities, ETP, etc. The Govt. is providing the subsidy maximum upto Rs. 4 crores including the yarn depot per project.
6. Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme to provide adequate and timely financial assistance to meet their credit requirements for investment needs for new entrepreneurs belonging to SC/ST and women category. The financial assistance is provided in the form of margin money subsidy at 25% basic cost of the eligible new machinery at ceiling of Rs 25 lakhs.
7. Solar Energy Scheme to alleviate the problem of power cut/ shortage, by proving financial assistance/ capital subsidy to small units for installation of solar photo voltaic plant to improve utility, efficiency, productivity, etc. Financial assistance upto 50% is provided for installation of on-grid solar photo voltaic (without battery) and off-grid solar photo voltaic (with battery). Enhanced benefits of 75% and 90% for SC/ST entrepreneurs in the cost of solar panels.
8. Facilitation/ IT awareness/ publicity & Market Development assistance
Knitting and knitwear sector is predominantly MSME in size and is mainly located in decentralized sector. It is one of the major employment generating sectors with a significant contribution to the export of textiles.
Knitting is a major segment in the entire textile value chain as knitted fabrics contribute to 27% of the total fabric production in India and 15% of knitted fabric is being exported.
“The initiative will also help to achieve the objectives of ‘Make in India’ programme as it will facilitate investment, enhance skill development and build infrastructure for the development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector. It will also promote innovation by bringing in latest designs, brands, skill development and upgradation. By such support, our industry will achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability in the textile sector.” – Sanjay Jain, Chairman, Confederation, Indian Textile Industry (CITI)
Despite knitwear sector growing at a much faster pace than weaving, it had been neglected till date and all schemes were just targeted for handloom and powerloom sectors despite this segment being of similar nature and character.
There is an installed capacity of nearly 12,000 knitting machines under SSI fold and nearly 4600 knitting machines under non-SSI fold, besides a number of household knitting machines. Being knitted hubs Tirupur, Ludhiana, Kolkata and Kanpur will be benefited more due to this scheme.
Tirupur is the most important export cluster, followed by Ludhiana as majority of garment manufactured in Tirupur are exported.