Textile industry in India

History of Textile Industry

The history of the textile industry in India dates back to ancient times

 With evidence of cotton cultivation and the use of cotton fabrics found as early as the Indus Valley Civilization (2600 BC to 1900 BC). India was known for its high-quality cotton textiles and was a major exporter of textiles to the rest of the world.

During the medieval period, India’s textile industry flourished, and Indian textiles were highly prized in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Textile centers such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Bengal were known for their production of cotton, silk, and wool fabrics.

During the British colonial rule in the 18th and 19th centuries, India’s textile industry suffered as British-made textiles flooded the Indian market. The British established textile mills in India, which focused on producing raw materials for the British textile industry. This led to the decline of India’s traditional textile industry, and Indian weavers and artisans suffered greatly.

After India gained independence in 1947, the government made efforts to revive the textile industry, and the first five-year plan (1951-1956) focused on the development of the textile industry. The government established textile mills, provided financial support, and implemented policies to promote exports.

There has been a distinct and positive shift from quantity to quality. Earlier Indian textiles were considered cheap and of low quality. The industry was at that time driven by large volumes, which were of paramount importance. The best quality was produced in Europe and Japan. Since then, India has come a long way, emerging as a manufacturer of high quality yarns and fabrics. The leading mills such as Spentex(CLC Group),Indorama,Raymonds, Read & Taylor, Arvind mills etc. Improved their quality standards prevailing into the world.

Present Scenario

India is presently exporting six billion U.S. Dollars worth of garments, whereas with the WTO regime in place, we can increase the production and export of garments to 18 to 20 billion U.S. Dollars within the next five years. This will enable generation of employment in general and in rural areas in particular. By tripling the export of apparels, we can add more than 5 million direct jobs and 7 million indirect jobs in the allied sector, primarily in the cultivation of cotton. Concerted efforts are needed in cotton research, technology generation, transfer of technology, modernization and upgrading of ginning and pressing factories and an aggressive marketing strategy

The textile industry occupies a unique place in our country. One of the earliest to come into existence in India, it accounts for 14% of the total Industrial production, contributes to nearly 30% of the total exports and is the second largest employment generator after agriculture. Textile Industry is providing one of the most basic needs of people and the holds importance; maintaining sustained growth for improving quality of life. It has a unique position as a self-reliant industry, from the production of raw materials to the delivery of finished products, with substantial value-addition at each stage of processing, it is a major contribution to the country’s economy. Its vast potential for creation of employment opportunities in the agricultural, industrial, organized and decentralized sectors & rural and urban areas, particularly for women and the disadvantaged is noteworthy. Although the development of textile sector was earlier taking place in terms of general policies, in recognition of the importance of this sector.

The textile industry is undergoing a major reorientation towards non-clothing applications of textiles, known as technical textiles, which are growing roughly at twice rate of textiles for clothing applications and now account for more than half of total textile production. The processes involved in producing technical textiles require expensive equipments and skilled workers and are, for the moment, concentrated in developed countries. Technical textiles have many applications including bed sheets; filtration and abrasive materials; furniture and healthcare upholstery; thermal protection and blood-absorbing materials; seatbelts; adhesive tape, and multiple other specialized products and applications. The Indian Textile industry has been undergoing a rapid transformation and is in the process of integrating with the world textile trade and industry.

Cotton production in India is projected to reach 7.2 million tonnes (~43 million bales of 170 kg each) by 2030, driven by increasing demand from consumers

India’s textile and apparel exports (including handicrafts) stood at US$ 44.4 billion in FY2022

Exports of readymade garments including cotton accessories stood at US$ 6.19 billion in FY2022.

Indian government’s textile vision

Indian government’s textile vision is to reach revenues of US$ 350 billion by 2024-25, warranting capacity trebling to 12 billion kg in five years. In December 2021, the government approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for textiles. The scheme is expected to promote production of man-made fabric (MMF) apparel, MMF fabrics and products of technical textiles with an aim to increase the global presence of India in these products.

The government announced extension of the Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme for apparel and made ups for three years. The Government aims to encourage private investments through investments under Integrated Textile Parks Scheme and the Technology Upgradation Fund. The Indian textile industry is the second largest employer in the country after the agricultural sector, in terms of employment creation, offering direct and indirect employment to around 100 million people.

Under the Union Budget 2022-23, the total allocation for the textile sector was Rs. 12,382 crore (US$ 1.62 billion). Out of this, Rs.133.83 crore (US$ 17.5 million) is for Textile Cluster Development Scheme, Rs. 100 crore (US$ 13.07 million) for National Technical Textiles Mission, and Rs. 15 crore (US$ 1.96 million) each for PM Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel parks scheme and the Production Linked Incentive Scheme.

The textile industry in India has been facing a crisis due to various factors such as increasing competition from other countries, rising input costs, lack of skilled labor, and the impact of COVID-19. Here are some solutions that can help improve the textile industry crisis in India:

Government support: The government can provide financial support to the industry by offering tax incentives, subsidies, and reducing the cost of capital.

Skill development: The industry requires skilled labor, and the government can work with textile companies to provide training and education programs to up skill the workforce.

Technological advancements: The industry can adopt new technologies such as automation, digitalization, and robotics to reduce labor costs and improve productivity.

Focus on innovation: The industry can invest in research and development to create innovative products that cater to the changing needs of consumers.

Promotion of sustainable practices: The industry can adopt sustainable practices such as using eco-friendly materials, reducing water usage, and minimizing waste to meet the growing demand for sustainable products.

Export promotion: The government can promote textile exports by providing support for marketing, trade fairs, and overseas promotion.

By implementing these solutions, the textile industry in India can overcome its crisis and emerge as a competitive player in the global market.

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