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Five years of Govt.: Much more could have been achieved

by Deepak Mohindra

16-March-2019  |  4 mins read

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The dates of general elections have been announced and every nook and corner is buzzing with conversation about the same – the performance of Modi Government so far and speculations about the new Government…

I very well remember the inauguration of CMAI’s National Garment Fair in Mumbai on 23rd June 2014 which was also the first press conference of the then Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar. One of my team members had asked him about the low placement record in ISDS (Integrated Skill Development Scheme). The Minister had assured that he will look into this matter… None of us had realised at that time that skill development will become the focus of the Modi Government for job generation… But looking at the ground realities, the expected results have not come in. Had it been executed properly, this could have become a game changer.
If not more, the same situation stands for most of the other schemes and bigger policy decisions announced or taken up by the Government. The industry has been revolving around, trying to find plausible outcomes through the various Governmental schemes promulgated in the last five years.
Nevertheless, I must compliment the Government for The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, special package for Apparel and Made-ups sector and schemes relating to the upliftment of the textiles sector in the north-eastern states. However, initiatives such as GST, demonetisation, and tilt towards the handloom segment are debatable.
All said and done, the Textile Ministry has failed to deliver in all these years, forget about data and missed export targets being seen year-afteryear. As I shared earlier also, I had high hopes when Smriti Irani took charge of textiles but even her 2½ years could not fulfil industry’s minimum expectations, let alone the higher ones. Time and again, the industry has shared its grievances strongly upon this, with the previous five years being a challenging time for it. Apart from the difficult international scenario, improper execution of the Government decisions or policies has been a big reason for these difficulties.
The Government’s strong tilt towards handloom and khadi still remains… I am not questioning the intentions of the Government towards the industry, but overall it could have delivered much better under the similar conditions and industry’s performance could also have been radically transformed.
Just have a look at the last one month, when the Government cleared one after the other three main and long pending demands of the industry. It could have been done earlier also as there is no rocket science behind the execution of such decisions. On-time decision could have reaped in significant benefits for the industry.  At the state level, some are waking up after a long slumber and years of passivity and decadence. We all are witness to Tamil Nadu’s highly advantageous integrated textile policy coming into action after two long decades. I sincerely wish the new Government to learn its lessons fast and take cognizance of our industry’s potential at the right time… Probably, the implementation of the long pending national textile policy can be a head start in this direction.

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