The textiles industry now contributes 15 per cent to India’s exports, marking the sector’s growth, Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said on Friday while announcing the Ministry’s two-year achievements.

“More than ₹6,500 crore has been spent by the Ministry of Textiles on various schemes for promotion and development of the textiles sector. Approximately five lakh additional jobs have been created in the past two years in the sector,” Gangwar said. The Ministry also aims to increase the earning of handloom weavers to ₹500 per day.

According to the Ministry, apparel and handicrafts recorded 22 per cent growth, while textile exports grew by eight per cent during last two years compared with the previous two years.

“To safeguard interests of domestic cotton growers, a well-planned, largest ever Minimum Support Price operation was carried out by the Cotton Corporation of India in the 2014- 2015 season in all 11 cotton producing States. This operation was successful, with procurement crossing 86 lakh bales up to March 30, 2015; and as I speak to you today, out of this stock of 86 lakh bales, only 60,000 bales are left in our stock, the rest has been sold.

“Apart from this, in the 2015-16 season too, we have procured around nine lakh bales through MSP operations, out of which we have a stock of three lakh bales at present,” the Minister said.

24 textile parks

In a bid to give a boost to the sector, 24 new textile parks have been sanctioned under the Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks with a potential investment of ₹4,500 crore and employment for 66,000 people, the Ministry said in a statement.

Among the other initiatives, the Ministry also said import of raw silk from China has come down due to a 51 per cent increase in Bivoltine silk production over last two years.

The government has spent ₹60 crore to upgrade 55,000 plain looms to powerlooms, the Ministry announced.