The reopening of three National Textile Corporation (NTC) mills notwithstanding, there is unlikely to be a resurrection of the mills’ past glory in Mumbai. Though there is a strong demand for yarn in India, experts said there is also a manufacturing overcapacity building up, which points to an uncertain future.
Also, high real estate prices make a mill in a metro unviable.
“The sector is optimistic as it services not just domestic industry, but the export sector as well,” said Premal Udani, chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council. The demand surge has seen yarn prices rise, but it may not last. One indicator of this is that capacity expansion in weaving and processing — segments that use the yarn — has not been as robust.
NTC, which is banking on the capital raised by selling defunct mills, may find it hard going with the three mills resurrected. “NTC raised Rs 2,200 crore by selling off mills, which why it is still running,” said a mill owner from Punjab, who requested anonymity. “NTC is a public sector undertaking, which is why it was made to restart these mills. It makes more business sense to sell the land and set up new mills on the city’s outskirts.”