With no respite from the power outages that range from 12 to 14 hours a day in most of Tamil Nadu, a large number of textile mills here are planning to shift their operations to States such as Maharashtra or Gujarat.

The two Western States have textile-friendly policies besides the availability of power.

Since spindlage addition (increasing the production capacity of mills) has remained dormant for the last three years due to power problem in Tamil Nadu, some spinning mill owners, both large and small, recently met to discuss the possibility of shifting production to States where power, though a little more expensive, and cotton, the major raw material, are available in plenty.

According to highly placed sources in Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), despite appeals from them and other industry captains, the power situation in Tamil Nadu has remained dismal for the last three years. The local textile industry is in the doldrums.

In past, textile mills in Tamil Nadu, with 23 million spindles, normally added seven to eight lakh more annually, with Coimbatore contributing 40 per cent to that addition. In order to make the transition easier for spinners, SIMA recently organised a meeting where officials from Maharashtra and Gujarat invited local spinners and promised a ‘good package’ for investors, sources said.

Migration begins

Some of the association’s members, who have already decided to shift north, have already started the spadework.

With Gujarat going to the polls in December, firms here are waiting till the formation of the Government, they said.

Meanwhile officials from Maharashtra have assured spinners here that their Government would try to bring down the power tariff if a good number of spindles start business there.

Moreover, mills here also feel this move will help them save on the cost of transporting cotton from these States to the South.

(This article was published on November 25, 2012)
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