The Union textiles minister of India, Smriti Irani, said that the diversity of the Indian textiles segment lies in the co-existence of cotton and man-made fibres (MMF). Speaking at Textiles India 2017 at the Mahatma Mandir complex in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar, the minister insisted that MMF holds no threat to Indian cotton.
Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers, Ananth Kumar, admitted that he never knew that the seeds of the textiles industry lay in the petrochemicals ministry. He also said that the two ministries should have more of such conversations so that the government can work holistically.
Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister for urban development, delivered the main address, spoke about textiles being a part of Indian culture and tradition. The textiles industry needs to be given due recognition and its rightful place in society. The government is clear that mere production alone will not suffice; production must be converted into adding value.
He also said that the diversity of Indian textiles was unparalleled in the world, and that textiles and apparel have always contributed immensely towards the socio-economic development of the country. The importance of the industry is reflected in the fact that it contributes 10 per cent to manufacturing, 2 per cent to the GDP, and 13 per cent to the country’s export earnings. The textiles industry is also the second largest employer in India after agriculture with over 45 million people employed directly and about 60 million people employed in allied activities.