Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), the largest spinning mills association in the country, has appealed to the new government at the Centre to resolve the pending issues, including releasing the remaining `9,000-crore subsidies under Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS).
In a statement, P Nataraj, chairman, Sima, said, the flagship programme of the union ministry of textiles has attracted over `3.75 lakh crore of investments in the textile industry during the last two decades and created jobs of over 10 million apart from enabling the Indian textile industry to become globally competitive and increase its exports by manifolds.
The scheme was effective and industry-friendly till 2007 when it was open-ended and later many complications were brought in the guidelines which got further complicated at every stage. This has resulted in a backlog of `9,000 crore of TUF subsidies, severely affecting the financial conditions of the new investors. This has stalled the potential growth, job creation and forex earnings opportunities of the nation, he pointed out.
According to him, the textile industry is the single-largest employment provider in the country, next only to agriculture by employing over 110 million people, especially the rural women and people below the poverty line, and enables inclusive growth.
Realising the importance of making this sector globally competitive and grabbing the opportunities emerging in the post-WTO era, the NDA government launched the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) during 1999 and later the same government extended the scheme up to March 31, 2022 by allocating `17,822 crore.
This budget allocation included `12,671 crore for committed liabilities of Modified Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (M-TUFS), Revised Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (R-TUFS) and `5,151 crore for Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (A-TUFS).
Hence, Sima is sincerely appealing to the new government to resolve TUF issues to boost job creation and exports. Resolving issues in the TUF Scheme and releasing the pending TUF subsidies to the tune of `9,000 crore on a fast track basis would help the industry to create jobs for lakhs of people immediately, Nataraj said.
Resolving the TUFS issues would bring huge investments across the country thus creating jobs for millions of people and boost exports. Special export garment package and enhanced RoSTCL benefits would yield the desired results only when the TUFS issues are resolved, he added.