The eight integrated textile parks (ITPs) proposed in Tamil Nadu with an investment of Rs. 2,100 crore will generate exports worth Rs. 3,700 crore, Union Minister for Textiles, Dayanidhi Maran, said on Saturday.

At the inauguration of the Madurai integrated textile park at Thathampatti near here, Mr. Maran said 20 per cent of 40 integrated textile parks proposed by the Centre were planned in Tamil Nadu.

The Minister said they would generate employment opportunities for 80,000 people.

The Madurai ITP was exporting Rs.75-crore worth textiles involving an investment of Rs.100 crore with the initial 15 units functioning here.

The park was expected to get an additional Rs.300 crore investment and the exports would go up to Rs.500 crore. It would give employment to 7,000 persons, he added.

Mr. Maran said more development works would come to the State because of the better understanding between the State government and the Centre. The Centre proposed two mega handloom clusters in the country.

The foundation stone for the Virudhunagar cluster had been laid and work had started. It was possible because the State government was keen on implementing the Centre-assisted programmes.

Whereas in West Bengal, even land acquisition for a cluster had not been done due to the friction between the Centre and State government. The benefits of the schemes reached the people as the Tamil Nadu government implemented them at a faster pace.

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri, who inaugurated the park, said the DMK worked for the welfare of the people whether it was in power or not. The DMK government had fulfilled all its poll promises. The Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Rita Menon, said the ITPs would focus on weaving and garments.

President of Madurai ITP M. Britto Minister for Handlooms and Textiles K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, Minister for Adi Dravidar Welfare A. Tamilarasi, Periyakulam MP J.M. Aaron, Sholavandan MLA P. Moorthy and Madurai Collector C. Kamaraj spoke.