Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: The Centre was considering extending the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) beyond March 2007, Union Minister of State for Textiles E.V.K.S. Elangovan said here on Monday.

"We are envisaging an investment of Rs. 1.4 lakh crores (in the textile sector) by 2010 and our export goal is about $ 50 billion. To achieve it, schemes like the TUFS are essential," he said. Discussions were on with the Union Ministry of Finance.

He was inaugurating a three-day conference on "Advances in Fibrous Materials, Non-woven and Technical Textiles" organised by the SSM College of Engineering, in association with Texas Tech University. He said the textile industry in India was expected to attract a cumulative investment of approximately Rs. 1.4 lakh crores between 2002 and 2010.

Investments in the textile sector in 2005-2006 were Rs. 15,000 crores and this was expected to double this year.

Technical textiles

He said India had the capability to take advantage of the developments in the field of technical textiles. The country accounted for six per cent of the $107 billion global technical textile market.

Nodal agency

In a move to accelerate the growth of technical textiles, the Centre had designated SASMIRA (Synthetic and Art Silk Mills' Research Association) as a nodal agency for this segment. It was assigned the task of assessing the application areas in terms of market development, creating awareness and giving back-up research and development support.

"With greater investment, focussed research and development efforts and creation of state-of-the-art common testing facilities, we can emerge as a leading technical textile manufacturer and exporter."

Centres of excellence

Textile Commissioner J. N. Singh said the Ministry of Textiles proposed to set up centres of excellence for major segments of technical textiles at textile research associations and IITs.

It was also considering extending TUFS benefits of Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme to technical textiles.