Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal said time has come to target 5 times increase in export of Technical Textiles in 3 years, while speaking to representatives of Indian Technical Textile Association( ITTA) in Delhi today. The Minister said that the Centre would support PLIs for Textile Sector in States supporting the development and offering affordable infrastructure for Textile Manufacturing like cheap land and power.
Shri Goyal stated that we should align with the best standards in Textile manufacturing. There should be no difference in the quality of textile meant for international and domestic consumers. The Minister suggested public-private participation in the use of Government funds in Research & Development in Technical textiles.
It may be noted that the growth of Technical Textiles in India has gained momentum in past 5 years, currently growing at 8 % per annum rate. The aim is to hasten this growth to 15-20% range during next 5 years.
Shri Goyal said that the Current world market is 250 Billion USD (18 Lakh Crore) and India’s share in it is USD 19 Billion. India is an aspiring player with USD 40 Billion size in this market (8% share). The biggest players are USA, Western Europe, China and Japan (20 – 40% share). He said that in addition to the growth in statistical terms, we will direct the growth towards high technology and indigenously innovated products.
He further mentioned that with these objectives in mind, the government has launched National Technical Textiles Mission in February 2020, with a view to make India a self-reliant, vibrant, export-oriented economy in the world.
He said ” 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”,
Shri Goyal informed that in January 2019, for the first time in India, 207 HSN Codes issued for Technical Textile and in less than 2 years time India has become a net exporter in Technical Textiles.
He said that 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 1767 Crore in 2020-21. During the year 2020-21, India’s major share of exports is 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 informed that 92 items have been made mandatory for use by Government organizations covering agriculture/horticulture, highways, railways, water resources, medical applications. Concerned 9 Ministries have issued instructions in this regard.. Shri Goyal further stated that BIS has issued Indian Standards for 377 item and nearly 100 are in pipeline. Skill Development in Technical Textiles commenced with introduction of Six new courses and another new 20 courses are under preparation, he added
It may be noted that Technical Textiles are textiles, which are engineered to give desired output suitable for specific applications. The basic raw material are natural fibres like jute, silk and cotton. But, majority of the applications use man-made fibres: polymers(Aramid, Nylon) , carbon, glass, and metals. Technical Textiles are the technology of future. This is going to be the next technological revolution entirely changing the way we live and think.
Based on their area of Applications, 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 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 bulletproof jacket material, fog harvesting through use of technical textiles, ultra protection for bio-organisms etc.
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 have recommended 20 proposals, so far. Nearly 40 more research proposals are under consideration for discussion in the subsequent meetings of the Committee.
ITTA is an association of small and medium segments of technical textiles manufacturers. 90% 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, conveyer belts.
Large technical textiles manufacturers (more than Rs.500/- crore turnover) such as Garware, Welspun, SRF, Century Yarn, Johnson & Johnson, etc., are not associated with ITTA. Ministry of Textiles consults ITTA in most of its policy formulations, programmes and engages them in a regular manner.