The State government will provide a stipend of Rs.2,000 to every candidate who undergoes training at the centre of Apparel Training and Design Centre (ATDC) — Skills for Manufacturing Apparels through Research and Training (SMART) here, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi announced on Friday.

Inaugurating the first such centre and the Integrated Skill Development Scheme of the Union Textiles Ministry at Egmore here, he said that [when such projects are to be implemented] no distinction should be made between State and Union government.

Referring to the scheme, he said it was planned to provide training to 30 lakh persons in five years and the total outlay was Rs.2,300 crore.

Twelve training centres would be opened in the State and 25,000 persons covered.

Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran said Guindy and Mogappair in Chennai and Tirupur, Dharampuri and Paramakudi would be among the places where the centres would be established.

In the case of those who were setting up textile mills, 75 per cent of the cost of training per candidate would be borne by the Union government.

Union Minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan commended the State government for its efficient implementation of Central schemes such as the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Old Age Pension Scheme and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.

State Minister for Textiles and Backward Classes K.K.S.S. R. Ramachandran said it was because of the Chief Minister's effort that the Centre decided to defer by a month, the export of cotton.

Information Minister Parithi Ellamvazhuthi wanted a permanent exhibition centre for textiles to be set up at the Thillayadi Valliammai complex, the venue of the function.

Chennai Mayor M. Subramanian and Union Secretary for Textiles Rita Menon spoke.

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