SK Panda: Textile sector will be the driver of Skill India & Make in India

Addressing the issues from the cotton industry, SK Panda, secretary textiles, expressed that textile sector will be the driving force behind Skill India and Make in India initiatives. He emphasised on the need of integrated value chain systems, technology upgradation and inclusive growth, and said that the sector has a potential to create 45-50% of direct jobs in the rural India.

Indian Cotton Conference organised by Indian Cotton Association Limited (ICAL) and co-hosted by Northern India Textile Mills Association (NITMA) was all around “Dynamics of Make in India”. Key dignitaries, addressing a gathering of around 1000 people with representatives from 18 countries, were SK Panda – Secretary Textiles, Dr. Kavita Gupta – Textile Commissioner, Mahesh Sharda – President ICAL, HS Cheema – President NITMA, Manikram Ramaswami – MD Loyal Textiles, and many international representatives from Switzerland, Vietnam, Singapore, Bangladesh, China and others.

Suggesting for branding Indian Cotton against the world labels, Dr. Kavita Gupta emphasised on technical R&D needed to increase productivity. She said that average cotton productivity in India is 528 Kg/hectare wherein the same stands 2196 Kg/hectare in Australia and 963 Kg/hectare in the US.

Discussing the industry initiatives needed for sustainability, Mahesh Sharda shared two programmes operated by ICAL. Under the Sankalp initiatives ICAL has adopted 6 villages and 600 farmers. Through ‘Help the Farmer Program’ ICAL has disbursed a sum of 15 Lakhs to 830 farmers affected by white flies.

HS Cheema illustrated the China scenario and suggested that Government should provide direct subsidy to farmers.

Manikram Ramaswamy said that India for 25 continuous years has seen a negative correlation between GDP growth and the rate at which we have raised people above the BPL line. He stressed that it is the time we think beyond Government welfare schemes and contribute towards adding value at the bottom of the pyramid.

The award ceremony started with lifetime achievement award to Suresh Kotak, Chairman Kotak & Company, for his more than 60 years of contribution to the cotton industry. Special award for rural employment and for value chain enhancement was given to FabIndia. 9 eminent businesses were given Navaratna Awards and 13 farmers were awarded for outstanding efficiency.

Technical sessions and panel discussions were taken by Thomas Paul Reinhart – Switzerland, Wang Shensi – China, Uday Gill – Indonesia, Nguyen Hota – Vietnam, Mehdi Ali – Bangladesh, Sandeep Hota – Singapore, PK Singhal – MCX Mumbai, and other eminent personalities.

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