Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran pulled up industry captains for harping over shrinking profit margins and demanding stimulus packages. He asked the industry to look at the domestic market that has huge demand potential and work united to become globally competitive.
Visibly upset over contentions by textile industry captains of shrinking profits, demand for stimulus packages and inclusion in NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), the textile minister said, “Henceforth don’t come to the government with begging bowls. The government has done enough. Textile industry has got the most stimulus during the slowdown, and was the first one to bounce back,” he said.
The ministry, under Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (UTFS), has sanctioned over Rs 5,000 crore in last 18 months. “We are now seeking Rs 1,500 crore from the finance ministry to clear arrears,” he said, speaking at the Textile Industry Roundtable organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Mumbai. As per ministry data, the year 2008-09 saw Rs 21,826 crore disbursed under the TUFS.
Chiding industry captains for seeking coverage under NREGA, Maran said, “The scheme is for rural employment and not for businesses in cities. Mumbai, Pune and other metro cities, where you have businesses can’t exactly be called villages.”
When Hindustan Times sought reaction by some industry stalwarts to Maran’s outburst, they refused to comment, not wanting to antagonise the minister.