Over 100 textiles units have closed down in the last four years, mainly due to financial crunch and labour issues, rendering over 29,000 workers jobless, Parliament was informed on Monday.

“89 textile mills were closed in the last 3 years and 12 textile mills were closed in 2012-13. The major reasons for closure of these mills are financial and labour issues,” Textiles Minister Anand Sharma said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. The number of workers on the rolls of closed textile mills is 29,292, he added.

The workers rendered jobless in the wake of the closure of spinning mills are given interim relief under Textile Workers Rehabilitation Fund Scheme (TWRFS).

However, Sharma said, there are 1,276 cotton/manmade fibre textiles spinning mills (non-SSI) functioning in the country with 4.19 lakh workers on the rolls.

Replying to another query, he said Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured 22 lakh bales (170 kg each) of natural fibre at the minimum support price (MSP) so far in the 2012-13 marketing year that began from October.

The cotton season runs from October to September. “Cotton prices in 2012-13 season have operated below MSP prices in Andhra Pradesh where CCI undertook MSP operations,” Sharma said.

During 2011-12, CCI was authorised to build a buffer stock of 10 lakh bales through commercial operations.

On whether India’s projected cotton production has declined compared to global output, Sharma said: “India’s production has been 22-23 per cent of the world’s production in the past 4 years and there has been no decline.”

Currently, cotton exports are under Open General Licence subject to a prescribed procedure of registration. According to estimates of the Cotton Advisory Board, the natural fibre output is expected to be 330 lakh bales and consumption is likely to be 276 lakh bales in the 2012-13 season.

(This article was published on March 4, 2013)
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