The government was contemplating legislation towards making the workers of a firm its future shareholders, Union Minister for Textiles K. Sambasiva Rao has said.

Inaugurating National Textile Corporation’s modernised mill at Cannanore Spinning and Weaving Mill here on Tuesday, Mr. Rao said that employees were an integral part of the management and a certain per cent of equity should rest with them.

Over a period of time, they should be permitted to hold shares and a portion of their salary could be deducted for the purpose, he said.

Touching upon the difficulties faced by handloom weavers, Mr. Rao said that a yarn depot would soon be established in the district to aid them. The Revival, Reform, and Restructuring (RRR) scheme initiated by the government would waive the overdue loans and interest of weavers.

Mr. Rao requested K. Sudhakaran, MP, who was on the dais, to ensure that the scheme was utilised by the right beneficiaries. The industry in the country had seen many ups and downs and many mills had closed down across the country.

The government was on a mission to revive the sick units as well as start new ones with sophisticated technology thus increasing the production, Mr. Rao said. The textile industry in the country at present had excellent prospects and with China, the lead player, shifting its focus to other sectors, India could become number one in the sector, Mr. Rao said.

The country had surplus production of cotton. It exported raw cotton and prospects lay in converting this to yarn, cloth, and garments. The value addition was 14 times from raw cotton to garments, he said adding that all it required was skilled manpower.

Skill was the key word, Mr. Rao said, stating that more skilled people would mean increased production, thus resulting in low cost of production and thus a competent position in the global market. The government was all set to start a training centre to impart skills in various vocations, he added.

Modernisation of the spinning mill has been done in two phases. In the first phase, a unit with 25,920 spindles was commissioned in 2010 which produced 100 per cent synthetic yarn. With the second phase modernisation, a new unit of 26,112 spindles has been set up here and will produce 100 per cent cotton yarn.

R.K. Sharma, chairman and managing director, NTC, K.A. Sarala, district panchayat president, M. Shyja, block panchayat president, and K.G. Manoj Kumar, general manager, Cannanore Spinning and Weaving Mills, were present.