The textile sector, the country's largest employer, is undergoing a crisis and, therefore, restructuring of loans and incentives to it are justified, according to Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, after attending the board meeting of the newly-constituted Powerloom Board, Mr. Sharma said officials were examining issues confronting the textile industry as a whole as it was clearly going through a crisis.

Total exposure of banks to it is Rs.1,56,000 crore and the proposed restructuring totals around Rs.35,000 crore, including working capital. An agreement was reached on the restructuring package and it deals with rescheduling of loans, working capital and interest relief. “The details will be worked out with banks,” he said.

The powerloom sector accounted for more than 62 per cent of cloth produced in the country and employed more than six million workers, with a large number from the weaker sections, said Mr. Sharma adding that “the thrust now is to incentivise domestic manufacturers of shuttle-less looms so that they also benefit. Several other measures are under consideration and we are in discussion with the Planning Commission to include them in the XII Plan.”

The proposals include amending Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) so that in five years, the subsidy component rises to at least Rs.1,000 crore from Rs.200 crore.

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