Indore MP and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that it is difficult to revive textile mills in the city as it requires huge investment. She said a co-operatives textile unit could become a possibility.
Speaking at the function organised by Indore Cloth Market Traders' Association as part of Diwali get-together on Sunday, Mahajan said smaller textile units like dyeing, knitting or printing can be set up which will generate employment.
Mahajan's statement that it is not possible to revive textile mills came as a dampener. It may be recalled that Indore once had seven textile mills and was main exporter of cloth to several parts of the country.
The gradual closure of seven mills threw thousands of workers out of employment. In the last three decades, there were several attempts by different organisations and trade unions to revive at least one textile mills. But all attempts failed.
At Sunday's function, members of Indore Cloth Market Traders' Association expressed their problems and difficulties. They expressed concern over dip in their trade because of closure of city's textile mills.
"About 5,000 looms have been set up in Burhanpur. Indore is lagging behind. Why is it so? It is important that we understand the reason and take steps accordingly," said Subhash Samre a senior association member.
Another association member Arun Batley suggested that running co-operative textile mills is the best option. He recommended that textile traders should draw benefit from slew of textile trade measures announced by government. Those present at the function included BJP MLAs Usha Thakur, Sudarshan Gupta, Malini Gaud, and Mayor Krishna Murari Moghe.
'Indore lags behind China and Gujarat'
While the workers and members of the cloth market traders' association narrated their problems, a comparison with China and Gujarat ruled the conversation. Apart from discussing the present day status of these markets, the workers also compared the manner in which those markets have developed in all these years.
"Surat and Ahemdabad export cotton all over the country. There was a time when Indore enjoyed this status. What has been the reason and how can we sort it out is something we need to know," said Arun Batley, a member of the cloth market association.
The traders commended the single window system followed in Gujarat. The state has a single window system where all formalities are completed and guidance is given.
"We need something on these lines," said Girish Kabra, owner of a shop selling cloth from the area. The speakers also mentioned China which manufactures and exports cost effective goods and thus has expanded their global market.