Smriti Irani. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 26 : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission with an outlay of Rs 1,480 crore for four year implementation period in line with the announcement made in Budget 2020 presented earlier this month.

Making announcement following the CCEA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Textile Minister Smriti Irani said the idea behind the mission is to integrate technology and manufacturing.

The Minister said that the step would position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and that the goal was to be self-dependent in this field to nullify the trade deficit in the area which was already declining.

Technical textiles have various applications ranging from agriculture, roads, railway tracks, sportswear, health on one end to bullet proof jacket, fire proof jackets, high altitude combat gear and space applications on the other end of the spectrum.

The Minister said that the first component of the mission will focus on research, innovation and development and have an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore. The focus will be on carbon fibre, aramid fibre, nylon fibre, and composites, according to an official release.

Application-based research will be conducted in CSIR, IIT, Research Design & Standards Organisation of Indian Railways, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Defence Research & Development Organisation, National Aeronautical Laboratory, Indian Road Research Institute and other such reputed laboratories, Irani said.

Indian technical textiles segment is estimated at $16 billion that is approximately six per cent of the $250-billion global technical textiles market. The penetration level of technical textiles is low in India varying between 5 per cent and 10 per cent against the level of 30-70 per cent in developed countries.

"The Mission will aim at increasing the size of the domestic market to $40 billion which would require an average growth of at least 10 per cent per annum," Irani said.

The Mission will also promote technical education at higher engineering and technology levels related to technical textiles and its application areas covering engineering, medical, agriculture, aquaculture and dairy segments. Skill development will be promoted and adequate pool of highly skilled manpower resources will be created for meeting the need of relatively sophisticated technical textiles manufacturing units, Irani said.

Another component of the mission aims at export promotion of technical textiles enhancing from the current annual value of approximately Rs 14,000 Crore to Rs 20,000 crore by 2021-22 and ensuring 10 per cent average growth in exports per year upto 2023-24.

An Export Promotion Council for Technical Textiles will be set up for effective coordination and promotion activities in the segment, said Irani. The Mission will move into sunset phase after four years period.

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