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New Delhi : Union Textiles & , Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal while speaking to representatives of Indian Technical Textile Association( ITTA) in Delhi on November 5, 2021, said time has come  to target 5 times  increase in export of Technical Textiles in 3 years.  The Minister said that Centre would support PLIs for Textile Sector in States supporting development and offering affordable infrastructure for Textile Manufacturing like cheap land and power.

Goyal stated that we should align with best standards in Textile manufacturing. There should be no difference in quality of textile meant for international and domestic consumers. He suggested  public private  participation  in use of Government funds in Research & Development in Technical textiles, according to a PIB release.

It may be mentioned here 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.

Goyal  said  that the current world market is 250 Billion USD ( Rs18 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 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.”

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 was negative ( -Rs 2,788 Crore) in 2018-19 and ( – Rs 1,366 Crore in 2019-20), which has turned positive with Rs 1,767 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 organisations covering agriculture/horticulture, highways, railways, water resources, medical applications. Nine Ministries concerned have issued instructions in this regard.. 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

The Technical Textiles are textiles 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.

Based on their area of Applications, Technical Textiles segment is divided into 12 sub-segments. India has a major presence in Packaging Textiles (Packtech): 38%, Geotechnical Textiles (Geo-tech): 10%, Agricultural Textiles (Agrotech): 12%.  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, and 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.

ITTA is an association of small and medium segment of technical textiles manufactures with 90% of its members having an 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. Ministry of Textiles consults ITTA in most of its policy formulations, programmes, and engages them in a regular manner.