TAMIL NADU

Apparel park to boost knitwear exports

TIRUPUR Sept. 21. The Netaji Apparel Park near here, for which construction work begun, is expected to give a thrust to knitwear exports.

The Tirupur Exporters' Association president, A. Sakthivel, told The Hindu that the total knitwear exports in 2002 was estimated to be nearly Rs. 5,000 crores. A number of steps, such as a common brand, were proposed to give a boost to exports, especially after 2004.

The apparel park project was conceived by the TEA under the Apparel Park scheme of the Centre. A special purpose vehicle, Netaji Apparel Park, was formed. Around 170 acres was purchased for setting up of the park at Ettiveerampalayam, and the Union Minister for Textiles, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, laid the foundation in July.

The infrastructure cost (including the cost of factory buildings) was estimated to be nearly Rs. 65 crores and Rs. 12 crores-13 crores was expected as grant from the Centre. Apart from this, the machinery cost was expected to be Rs. 200 crores-250 crores. The State Government granted 50 per cent stamp duty exemption for the land.

The park would have a total of 54 units and all of them would be involved in knitwear manufacturing. Eight units would be of 40,000 sqft and 46 of them, 20,000 sqft. Apart from the common facilities, the park would also have a two MW captive power plant on an outlay of about Rs. 6 crores to ensure availability of uninterrupted power supply. The common infrastructure planned included a training centre, a product display centre and research and a development centre.

Modern facilities

Mr. Sakthivel said the park would have modern production facilities and hence there would be "focus on value-addition". This would give a further boost to exports from the town.

Construction was likely to be completed by August next and the units were expected to start production in September.

It was estimated that during 2004-05, the units would export goods worth Rs. 500 crores and this could go up to Rs. 1,000 crores in 2005-06.

The park was expected to generate employment for about 20,000 persons.

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