Industry News

SIMA submits master plan to TN Chief Minister for increase of cotton production

Ravi Sam, SIMA Chairman

Tamil Nadu textiles and clothing industry predominantly cotton based, accounts 1/3rd of the textile business size, 45% of the spinning capacity, 70% of the knitted garment capacity, 40% of the home textiles manufacturing capacity, 22% of the powerloom capacity, 12% of handloom capacity and the only State having presence of whole textile value chain. More than 80% of the MSME units, especially the spinning mills are located in the State. The actual annual cotton requirement of the textile industry in Tamil Nadu is around 120 lakh bales (170 kgs per bale) while the State hardly produces 4 to 6 lakh bales.

Realizing the importance for increasing the cotton production to enhance the competitiveness of the industry and also augment the revenue of the cotton farmers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M.K. Stalin, soon after assuming the charge as the Chief Minister, announced Sustainable Cotton Cultivation Mission with necessary funds and also removed Agricultural Market Committee Fee on seed cotton (kapas), cotton and cotton waste was that prevailed since 1959 with an intention to enhance the global competitiveness of the textile industry in the State and benefit the farmers. SIMA Cotton Development and Research Association (SIMA CD & RA) is closely working with the Department of Agriculture and Government of Tamil Nadu in implementing various State and Central Government Schemes relating to cotton development.

In a press release, Ravi Sam, Chairman, The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), has stated that he met the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister at Secretariat, Chennai, and submitted a master plan for increasing the annual cotton production from the level of 5 lakh bales to 25 lakh bales in a period of five years. The master plan suggests pilot projects with necessary funding support to showcase the capability of Tamil Nadu cotton farmers and replicate the same across the State, says Ravi Sam. He has stated that the master plan has recommended to ensure adequate availability of quality cotton seeds of state-of-the-art technology capable of giving higher productivity and fibre quality matching international standards giving more thrust for Extra Long Staple Cotton, the dire need of the Nation.

He added that the master plan also recommends global based agronomy practices to be adopted, mechanized harvesting and water conservation to reduce the cost of cultivation, increase the productivity and meet the global sustainability norms. He said that the Chief Minister has assured to consider the master plan favourably and conduct meetings shortly in this regard.

SIMA Chief has also submitted memorandum appealing to the Chief Minister to strengthen the textile processing, the weakest link in the entire textile value chain with sustainable and competent technology. He said that sustaining the processing manufacturing facility and enhancing the capacity has become a challenge in Tamil Nadu with zero liquid discharge technology that has no solution for sledge / mixed salt disposal and also to find a sustainable solution for water, a major raw material for textile processing. He has said that the Association has requested the Chief Minister to personally intervene and resolve certain issues in kick starting the SIMA textile processing park and showcase a sustainable technology to the globe and also replicate the same along the coastal area with marine outfall technology, as the State is not able to find a solution for disposing the common salt. He has stated that the Chief Minister has assured to consider the memorandum favourably and do the needful.

Ravi Sam has stated that the United States Department of Labour (US DoL) has included cotton, cotton yarn / thread and cotton readymade garments under the TVPRA list that has a threat of bringing sanctions on the Indian cotton textiles exports to the USA, if not addressed properly. He has said that certain NGOs have exaggerated few stray cases out of proportion alleging earlier the employment of child labour and now the forced labour. He has pointed out that Tamil Nadu is one of the best industrialized States not only in the country, but also across the globe in terms of compliance relating to labour environment and other sustainability measures.

He has also appealed to the Chief Minister to recognize a competent agency and come out with a common code of conduct and reduce the cost of compliance certification and also mitigate the false allegations made by the NGOs. The Chief Minister has assured to consider the memorandum favourably. Ravi Sam has stated that he also met the concerned Ministers and the officials on the detailed memoranda submitted to the Chief Minister and briefed them on the relevant subjects.