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Thursday, May 09, 2002

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Knitwear exporters in talks with L&T for apparel park

G. Gurumurthy


THE knitwear industry in Tirupur may tie up with the engineering contract major, Larsen & Toubro, for the execution of the proposed Apparel Park promoted by it with the Central Government.

The Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA), which has already initiated talks with L&T for preparing the project report, will be ready shortly with the blueprint containing the engineering details for the park, which is to come up between Avanashi and Perumanallur close to the National Highway. Once the project report is ready, it would be presented to the Ministry of Textiles for approval.

The knitwear industry association has already identified suitable land to the extent of 100 acres. Additional private lands are also available in the adjoining areas that could be bought through private deals. Though the project would require a minimum 150 acres, the Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) officials are seeking around 200 acres so that space for diverse facilities could be earmarked.

The Union Textile Ministry has already offered to support Tirupur's case for an exclusive apparel park for the knitwear sector in order to encourage the textile and clothing export drive. The Tirupur knitwear sector would be given Central assistance of 75 per cent of the project cost or Rs 17 crore for setting up the park, while the State Government has to share the balance 25 per cent. The State's share can be in the form of land needed for the project.

"In this case, the State Government has to give Rs 8.5 crore as its contribution. However, the Tirupur knitwear industry is ready to bear 50 per cent of the cost of the land considering the need to acquire private lands and the Tamil Nadu Government can share the remaining 50 per cent of the land cost," Mr A. Sakthivel, TEA President, said.

Indications are that the number of knitwear export projects to come up in the proposed park would be restricted to 75. There will be two factory sizes, the promoters could choose from - one with 1.5 acre layout offering 20,000 sq feet factory building and the other with three-acre site having a 40,000 sq ft building. The promoters seeking the former model would be paying Rs 15 lakh as margin money, while those preferring the latter model with larger building space will have to bear Rs 30-lakh margin, according to Mr S.R. Ponnusamy, Secretary of TEA.

The amenities and common facilities to be provided in the park include 3MW captive power plant, an R&D centre, training centre, a business centre/board room, and telephone exchange. While no textile processing facility would be permitted inside the park, printing and designing studios could be located, the TEA officials said.

The Tirupur garment industry has also proposed to widen/strengthen the three key link roads abutting Tirupur town that connects the hosiery export centre with the two National Highways situated close-by.

"We are trying to get funds from the Centrally-sponsored Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development for Exports (ASIDE) scheme mooted under the recent Exim policy to help industry cluster-based exports for improving the link roads. The ASIDE scheme has earmarked Rs 330-crore corpus.

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