Time to target 5 times increase in export of Technical Textiles from $2 billion to $10 billion in 3 years: Goyal
New Delhi, November 6, 2021
Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal said on Friday the time had come to target a five-times increase in the export of Technical Textiles within three years.
Speaking to representatives of the Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) in Delhi, the Minister said the Centre would support Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the Textile Sector in States supporting development and offering affordable infrastructure for textile manufacturing like cheap land and power.
“We should align with the best standards in textile manufacturing. There should be no difference in quality of textile meant for international and domestic consumers,” he said.
He suggested public-private participation in the use of government funds in Research & Development in technical textiles.
The growth of technical textiles in India has gained momentum in the past five years, currently growing at 8 % per annum rate. The aim is to hasten this growth to 15-20% range during the next five years, he said.
Goyal said that, in the current world market of $ 250 billion (Rs 18 lakh crore), India’s share was $ 19 billion. India was an aspiring player with $ 40 billion size in this market (8% share). The biggest players were the USA, Western Europe, China and Japan (20 – 40% share). “In addition to the growth in statistical terms, we will direct the growth towards high technology and indigenously innovative products,” he added.
With these objectives in mind, the government has launched the National Technical Textiles Mission in February 2020, with a view to make India a self-reliant, vibrant, export-oriented economy in the world. " Our aim is to transform India into a major player in innovations, technology development, applications in key areas (agriculture, roads & railways, water resources, hygiene and healthcare, personal protection) with emphasis on higher education and skilled workforce,” he said.
In January 2019, for the first time in India, 207 HSN Codes were issued for Technical Textiles and in less than two years’ time India has become a net exporter in Technical Textiles. The trade balance earlier used to be negative (-Rs 2788 crore) in 2018-19 and (- Rs 1366 crore in 2019-20), which has turned positive with Rs 1767 crore in 2020-21.
During the year 2020-21, India’s major share of exports was in PPEs, N-95 and Surgical Masks, Fabric for PPEs and Masks.
Talking about the efforts made by the government to promote technical textiles, the Minister said 92 items have been made mandatory for use by Government organizations covering agriculture/horticulture, highways, railways, water resources and medical applications.
The concerned nine Ministries have issued instructions. BIS has issued Indian Standards for 377 items and nearly 100 were in the pipeline. Skill Development in Technical Textiles has commenced with the introduction of six new courses and another new 20 courses were under preparation, he added.
Technical Textiles are engineered to give desired output suitable for specific applications. The basic raw materials are natural fibres like jute, silk and cotton. But the majority of the applications use man-made fibres: polymers (Aramid, Nylon), carbon, glass, and metals.
Based on their area of applications, the Technical Textiles segment is divided into 12 sub-segments. In India. India has a major presence in Packaging Textiles (Packtech): 38%, Geotechnical Textiles (Geo-tech): 10%, Agricultural Textiles (Agrotech): 12%. The applications of Technical Textiles are widening day by day with the advent of new materials. Along with new inventions made in smart textiles; 3-D Weaving, smart wear for health monitoring and ultra-high performing sportswear are bringing in new avenues which were unthinkable a few years back.
Research projects have been awarded to reputed institutes like IITs. The topics cover cutting-edge technologies such as; indigenous carbon fibre, electric vehicle body from carbon composites, ultra-strength bullet proof jacket material, fog harvesting through use of technical textiles, ultra-protection for bio-organisms, and so on.
The Committee on Research, Innovation and Development in Technical Textiles (co-chaired by Principal Scientific Adviser, Member(S&T) NITI Aayog) has considered 36 proposals and has recommended 20 proposals, so far. Nearly 40 more research proposals are under consideration for discussion in the subsequent meetings.
ITTA is an association of small and medium segments of technical textiles manufactures. Most of their members have annual turnover below Rs.100 crore. ITTA members are mostly engaged in Non-woven fabrics, Protective garments, Packaging technical textiles, Agro-Textiles, industrial filters, conveyor belts.
Large technical textiles manufacturers (more than Rs 500 crore turnover) are not associated with ITTA. The Ministry of Textiles consults ITTA in most of its policy formulations, programmes and engages them in a regular manner.