AGARTALA, April 15 - The Union Government has undertaken a Rs 1,038 crore ($156 million) scheme in the North East to boost textile exports, increase jobs and curb the migration of workers.
Funded by the Union Ministry of Textiles under the North-East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS), the project is also aimed at developing and modernising the textile sector by providing region-specific flexibility in execution.
�Under the NERTPS, the Union Textile Ministry has been providing Rs18 crore each for setting up of a readymade garment manufacturing unit or �Apparel and Garment Making Centre� (AGMC) in each of the eight North Eastern States. It would also provide financial assistance to run the units after their commissioning,� Textiles Secretary Rashmi Verma told this news agency.
The first AGMC was inaugurated in Nagaland on April 6 and the second one in Tripura on April 8.
�The AGMCs in six other States are expected to start manufacturing in a month. After starting production of all the eight AGMCs, there would be a landmark development in the textile sector in the North Eastern region,� the senior IAS officer added.
�The AGMCs aim to boost the scope of employment and exports and curb migration of workers from this region to other parts of the country,� she said.
In all, 300 Japanese computerised sewing machines will be installed in each of the eight AGMCs. The Tokyo-based Juki company, which started making sewing machines in 1947, has customers in 170 countries from China to the Vatican.
Of the 300 sewing machines, 200 would be used for manufacturing and 100 for providing training.
Each AGMC will provide direct employment to 1,200-1,500 people, mostly women, and take care of skill upgradation and marketing of finished products. Each unit is expected to meet the demand for uniforms and garments of the police, security and paramilitary forces � as also schoolchildren and civilians � in the region.
This is just for starters. A host of schemes are planned in the North Eastern States under the NERTPS, which covers projects across the textiles sector ranging from sericulture, handlooms, handicrafts, power looms to apparel and garmenting.
Verma said that under the cluster development projects for handlooms, the rich and well-liked handloom sector of the North East would be developed and modernised to increase production, employability and value addition of the handlooms by means of technology upgradation.
�As bamboo is one of the rich resources of the region, handicrafts with a variety of designs and its diverse use in the North Eastern States have an immense global market. This sector must be developed,� Verma said, adding: �Sericulture is another viable sector which also has tremendous scope to provide more and more employment and to earn foreign exchange.�
With a 46 million population, the North Eastern States share a more than 5,435-km border with China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Some of the States have trade ties with a few of these countries, especially Bangladesh and Myanmar. Thus, the AGMCs have scope of exporting readymade apparel to these adjoining and other countries. � IANS