New Policy Likely to Make Technical Textiles Mandatory in Defence, Agri.

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The government may make the use of anti-hail nets to protect crops, chemical-protection suits for defence, and drapes, gowns, sanitary napkins and implants for medical use mandatory as it seeks to develop the potential of technical textiles and facilitate their public procurement.

A comprehensive policy on technical textiles is being prepared to make their use mandatory in certain sectors, provide financial support to promote domestic manufacturing and set standards to make India a production hub for them. Technical textiles are meant for non-aesthetic purposes, where function is the primary criterion.

“Discussions in this regard are being held at the level of the Prime Minister’s Office and a policy note could be moved soon for consideration,” two people aware of the deliberations.

According to one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Bureau of Indian Standards has been advised to develop world-class norms across the 12 segments of technical textiles on priority as the government wants to push domestic production.

India accounts for about 4% of the global market for technical textiles. The ministry of textiles estimates the technical textile industry in India will grow to about Rs 2 lakh crore by 2020-21 from over Rs 1.16 lakh crore in 2017-18. Technical textiles account for about 12% of India’s textile market, compared with 20% in China. “A policy on technical textiles is in the works and will be finalised soon,” another official said.

NITI Aayog, the government’s thinktank, has made comprehensive suggestions to focus on technical textiles, highlighting its huge domestic and export potential. “The Aayog has done enough analysis on technical textiles. Government needs to focus on how to develop standards and make its use mandatory to harness the immense domestic and export potential of technical textiles,” another official said, adding that enough efforts are being made by the textile ministry in this direction.

According to the officials, the government may look at subsidising production of technical textiles to attract investments. Already, a 15% capital subsidy is offered to domestic companies. “Besides, plans are being made to create a readily available domestic market by making their use mandatory and issuing orders for public procurement of these technical textiles,” the first official said.

The technical textile sector is growing at 4% per annum globally compared with 1% for apparel and textiles. Globally, technical textiles are expected to become a $203.7 billion market by 2022 from $165.5 billion in 2017.