The Cabinet approval for seven integrated mega textile and apparel parks pan-India makes eminent sense. It would boost value addition on-site, reaping economies of scale and scope, reduce logistical and sourcing expenses, and generally step up sector-specific competitive advantage across the board.

The value chain in yarn, fabrics and ready-mades is scattered and quite fragmented nation-wide. So, for instance, while cotton is grown in Gujarat and Maharashtra, spinning takes place in Tamil Nadu, processing gets done in Rajasthan and Gujarat, and garment-making happens mostly in the National Capital Region, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The proposed mega parks, spread over 1,000 acre and more, would provide facilities for weaving, dyeing, printing, fashion designing and garment-making in one location. They would have core infrastructure such as incubation centre, plug-and-play facility, and skill development units so as to keep abreast of the latest trends in textiles and apparel. The export potential in textiles is large. We need to build a conducive and innovative ecosystem with proactive policy.

The Centre has recently announced Rs. 10,683 crore production-linked incentive scheme for textiles. The textiles parks scheme would have an outlay of Rs. 4,445 crore, and is slated to provide support for project development in the cluster mode. The recent move to provide export-oriented units rebate on state and central taxes and levies would also help. But the fact remains that the share of textiles in India’s export basket has declined, and is now barely in the double digits. A recent Crisil study says that absent free trade agreements (FTAs) hurt our export performance. Decent work in the textile parks would gain custom, in today’s world.