Investments and schemes in Technical textiles in India


By: Ananya Sharma

In the resplendent realm of Indian Technical Textiles, where innovation meets prosperity, a symphony of staggering numbers resounds with commanding authority. As the mighty curtains of statistics unfurl, the Indian market emerges as the resolute fifth largest in the world, proudly bearing a weighty crown of USD 22.5 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22. Behold, for the growth of Technical Textiles in this great nation has surged forward with relentless momentum, boasting a remarkable ascent of 9-10% per annum over the past five years. Within the fabric of India’s textile industry, interwoven with a rich heritage of craftsmanship, the resolute government has orchestrated a masterful performance, deftly deploying transformative schemes and initiatives that reverberate across the nation. As we embark on this captivating journey, we shall delve into the depths of several extraordinary schemes launched by the visionary Government of India, each bearing witness to the seamless integration of textile parks, the soaring promotion of geotextiles and agrotextiles, the majestic amplification of exports, and the flourishing growth of technical textiles. Prepare to be enthralled, for the magnificent tale of India’s textile schemes unfolds, adorned with numerical grandeur and an aura of resplendent influence.

In 2005, the Government of India introduced the Scheme for Integrating Textile Parks (SITP), which combined two existing schemes: the Apparel Parks for Export Scheme (APES) and the Textile Centre Infrastructure Development Scheme (TCIDS). The SITP scheme was designed to facilitate the establishment of textile units with world-class infrastructure features by providing funding to private entrepreneurs. Its objectives included identifying suitable locations for textile units, promoting export growth, and generating employment opportunities. The scheme played a crucial role in supporting the development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and led to the creation of over 40 Textile Parks, attracting investments of more than 3500 Crores and providing employment for 15,000 textile workers. Eligible projects were identified and monitored by a nodal agency under the Ministry of Textiles, and funding was disbursed to Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) composed of industrial and entrepreneurs associations, state government agencies, and other relevant bodies. The infrastructure features covered under the scheme encompassed production buildings, infrastructure support, and other necessary facilities.

Another notable scheme launched in 2014-2015 was the Scheme for Promoting Usage of Geotextiles in the North Eastern Region. With an allocation of Rs. 427 Crores, this scheme aimed to encourage the use of geotextiles in the north-eastern states by providing technical, advisory, and financial support to entrepreneurs. The scheme focused on implementing geotextile solutions for applications such as road and hill protection, water reservoirs, and riverbank erosion control, as well as conducting sensitization activities, market studies, training, and capacity building. The implementation agencies for this scheme included relevant agencies and state governments.

Additionally, the Scheme for Promoting Usage of Agrotextiles in India (excluding North-Eastern states) was launched as a subcomponent of the Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT) from 2015-2017, with an allocation of Rs. 5 Crores. Its objective was to promote the utilization of Agrotextiles throughout India (excluding the North-Eastern states). The Focus Product Scheme aimed to boost exports of 33 technical textile products with high export and employment potential by providing a concessional Duty Credit scrip equivalent to 2% of the FOB value. The Scheme for Growth and Development of Technical Textiles (SGDTT), launched in 2007 with an allocation of Rs. 46.60 Crores, focused on improving investments in the technical textile industry. Its components included conducting baseline surveys, organizing awareness campaigns and creating Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for specific segments in the technical textile industry.

The Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT) was launched in 2010 for a five-year duration with an outlay of Rs. 200 Crore and consisted of two mini-missions. Mini Mission I aimed to build infrastructure, standardize processes, create common testing facilities, and develop prototypes. Mini Mission II focused on supporting the development of national and international markets for the technical textile industry. Its activities included providing end-to-end support to entrepreneurs, offering financial support for workshops and fairs, promoting standardization and regulatory measures, establishing contract research and development, and setting up Focus Incubation Centers on a “plug and play” model to support entrepreneurs in starting their production units.

Under the National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM), a remarkable achievement has been made with the approval of 74 research proposals worth Rs. 232 crores in the specialized field of fibber and technical textiles. This significant investment demonstrates the commitment towards advancing scientific knowledge and innovation in the technical textiles sector. Additionally, in order to foster market development and promote technical textiles, four major conferences have been successfully organized. The first was an international conference held in Delhi on 12th March 2022, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The second conference, focused on Geotech and Agrotech, took place in Imphal on 23rd August 2022, in conjunction with the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Furthermore, a national conclave dedicated to protective textiles was conducted on 16th November 2022 in Delhi. Lastly, a collaborative effort between CII and the Government of Tamil Nadu resulted in an international conference held in Chennai on 25th and 26th November 2022. These conferences served as crucial platforms for knowledge sharing, networking, and exploring new avenues in the field of technical textiles. Additionally, to enhance trade and ensure efficient classification of products, 31 new Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) codes have been developed specifically for the technical textiles sector. This step will facilitate accurate identification and standardization of technical textile products, thus streamlining trade operations. Furthermore, in recognition of their expertise and capabilities, the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC) has been assigned the significant role of being the export promotion council for technical textiles. Through their dedicated efforts, SRTEPC is poised to facilitate and promote the export of technical textiles, further driving the growth and recognition of this specialized sector. The culmination of these achievements showcases the comprehensive approach taken by the NTTM, encompassing research, market development, international collaborations, product classification, and export promotion, thus positioning India as a significant player in the global technical textiles arena.

The technical textile segment in India is on the brink of a remarkable boom, fuelled by the overwhelming response to the government’s Productivity Linked Investment (PLI) scheme. A staggering 25 percent of the 61 approved investment proposals under the scheme, amounting to 17 proposals, are specifically dedicated to investing in the promising realm of technical textiles, as confirmed by the Ministry of Textiles. This surge in interest comes as no surprise, considering the rapid global growth of technical textiles, encompassing a wide array of applications such as automotive materials, medical textiles, geotextiles, agro-textiles, and protective clothing. The PLI scheme, initiated by the government to substantially enhance domestic production capacity and secure a significant market share, was launched for 102 products within the man-made apparel, man-made fabrics, and technical textile segments. Part-I of the scheme saw the approval of 13 applications, each requiring an investment of no less than a whopping ₹300 crore. Within this subset, four proposals were focused on technical textiles, with one each dedicated to man-made apparel and man-made fabrics, and the remaining seven catering to other product categories. These four technical textile proposals approved in Part-I are poised to attract a staggering ₹3,600 crore during the gestation period, accumulating a total investment of ₹3,829 crore. The selected companies anticipate a remarkable turnover of ₹35,458 crore, generously benefiting from a subsidy of ₹1,236 crore under the scheme. Collectively, the chosen 13 companies in Part-I are set to invest a staggering total of ₹10,061 crore, with ₹7,863 crore invested during the gestation period. This ambitious undertaking is projected to yield a remarkable total business output of ₹88,689 crore, with the subsidy amounting to an impressive ₹3,392 crore. Equally impressive, Part-II of the scheme witnessed the approval of 48 proposals, each involving a substantial investment of at least ₹100 crore. Among these, 13 proposals were selected for the dynamic field of technical textiles, while nine were earmarked for MMF apparel, six for MMF fabrics, and 20 for other product categories. This significant influx of investments, coupled with the government’s strategic support, signals a promising future for the technical textiles sector in India, positioning the nation as a formidable player in the global market landscape.

The Government has given its approval for the establishment of seven PM Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks, aimed at developing world-class infrastructure, including plug-and-play facilities. The total budget allocated for this initiative until 2027-28 is Rs. 4,445 crore. The guidelines for the scheme have been published, and there have been several interactions with state governments to invite proposals. So far, 18 proposals from 13 states have been received. A National Conference was organized on May 4, 2022, to discuss the proposals with senior officers from state governments and industry associations. The evaluation of the proposed sites for PM MITRA parks was conducted through the Gati Shakti portal to assess their locational advantages. Currently, a detailed scrutiny is underway to select the sites based on a challenge matrix.

The Indian technical textile industry is thriving with prominent players like Welspun Group, SRF, Garware Technical Fibres, and Arvind leading the way. Within this industry, two segments, namely hometech and packtech, stand out as areas where production surpasses domestic consumption. Arvind Group’s advanced materials branch recognizes the pivotal role of technical textiles in fuelling the country’s growth and development ambitions. They aim to expand their presence in various other material sectors that leverage textiles as a backbone, demonstrating their commitment to innovation and diversification. On the other hand, Welspun is dedicated to meeting consumer demands through continuous innovation and technology. Their focus lies in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in this niche sector, which is commendable in today’s dynamic market environment. As these industry leaders push the boundaries of technical textiles, their efforts are set to bring about transformative changes and contribute significantly to the country’s progress.

In a report published by the textile ministry, it was revealed that the global technical textile market reached a valuation of $260 billion in the year 2020. Furthermore, it is projected to surpass $300 billion by the year 2025, indicating a promising growth trajectory for the industry. Several key factors are expected to drive this expansion, including the emergence of new application areas facilitated by innovative research and development initiatives, the growing concern over climate change, the advantageous physical properties offered by technical textiles, and a notable shift from natural fibres to manmade alternatives. Over the past few years, the sector has demonstrated a commendable annual growth rate ranging between 8% and 12%. However, it is important to note that despite this positive performance, the industry was valued at a relatively modest $21.95 billion in the fiscal year 2022.

The Indian technical textile sector has witnessed impressive growth in exports and imports, indicating a growing reliance on imports to meet domestic demand. In FY22, technical textile exports reached $2.85 billion, marking a substantial 28.4% increase compared to the previous year. At the same time, imports surged to $2.46 billion, showing a remarkable growth rate of 44%. This trend highlights the increasing importance of imports in satisfying the rising demand for technical textiles in India. The report also reveals that Packtech, indutech, mobiltech, buildtech, and hometech are the major contributors to the Indian technical textile sector, collectively accounting for over two-thirds of the market. The sector’s growth and reliance on imports underline the need to further develop domestic manufacturing capabilities to reduce dependence and ensure self-sufficiency in the future.

The future prospects of the sector appear extremely promising, with emerging areas such as nano fibre, filtration fabric, and carbon nanotubes at the forefront. The collaboration between tech giant Google and renowned textile brand Levi’s has resulted in the creation of a remarkable jacket that utilizes high-performance fibre for health-monitoring purposes, showcasing the immense potential of technical textiles. Furthermore, the application of technical textiles in specialized medical procedures, like hernia transplantation, is a clear indication of the sector’s bright future. With ongoing advancements and innovative developments, it is evident that technical textiles will continue to thrive and revolutionize various industries in the years to come.

In conclusion, the Indian technical textile industry has experienced remarkable growth and development, driven by visionary government schemes and initiatives. The integration of textile parks, promotion of geotextiles and agrotextiles, amplification of exports, and the overall flourishing growth of technical textiles have contributed to the sector’s impressive performance. The government’s strategic support through schemes such as the Scheme for Integrating Textile Parks, the Scheme for Promoting Usage of Geotextiles, and the Scheme for Promoting Usage of Agrotextiles has facilitated infrastructure development, employment generation, and market expansion. The National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM) has further propelled the sector’s progress through research investments, market development efforts, and collaborations. The implementation of the Productivity Linked Investment (PLI) scheme has attracted significant investments in technical textiles, solidifying India’s position as a significant player in the global market. With prominent industry players leading the way and the industry’s projected global growth, the future prospects of the Indian technical textile sector appear promising.



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