Barnala, July 29, 2013: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today strongly batted for total support of Union Government to encourage diversification in the state to save Punjab from the future agrarian crisis due to fast depleting ground water level. He raised this critical issue at the inaugural ceremony of Lotus Integrated Texpark, a Rs. 848 crore project, promoted under PPP mode by the Trident Group under integrated Textile Park Policy of the Government.
Speaking after the formal inauguration by Dr. K.S. Rao, Union Textile Minister, Badal said that Punjab with 2 percent geographical area had been feeding the country with 50-60 percent contribution in the national food kitty and in the process it has bled itself with ground level water touching the 600 feet mark. He said that Punjab was out to promote diversification of agriculture sector with more focus of less water consuming crops including cotton and centre must come out with a package to support the just cause of Punjab. He said that this Malwa belt was the textile hub of the state and this was need to promote good quality cotton crop for which center should explore the possibility of sanctioning special Research and Development Center for Malwa Region. He said that with cotton yield in China and Israel of 10 time that of India there was urgent need for promoting research in this area to increase the yield.
Seeking substantial hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Agriculture Produce including Cotton, he said that time has come that Union Government must implement the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission to link MSP with wholesale price index. He said that his government had been drawing the attention of Union Government towards this critical issue and due to un-remunerative more and more farmers were getting stuck deep into the debt trap.
Seeking three more Textile Parks for the state, Badal said that the new industrial policy of Punjab Government has special emphasis on Textile sector and said that Punjab Government would ensure a special package for Textile sector if Union Government sanctions three more Textile Parks. He also sought Rs. 10crore additional investment as envisaged by the Union Government policy in the existing Lotus Park.
Demanding a Special Skill Development Center for the state, Badal said that there was urgent need to introduce compulsory vocational education after class 10 to encourage entrepreneurial skills of the youth.
Speaking after inaugurating the Textile Park Union Textile Minister Dr. K.S. Rao said that he always supported the demand of farmers raised by Sukhbir Singh Badal for substantial hike of MSP of agriculture produce. He said that he had been raising this issue in the Parliament as hike in MSP was imperative for the growth of agriculture sector on which total economy was dependent. Dr. Rao also announced the setting up of Apparel Textile Design Park in Barnala and ensure to look into the demands of Research and Development Center for Cotton.
Rajinder Gupta Chairman Trident Group said that this park set up under the Scheme for Integrated Textile Park (SITP) with an investment outlay of Rs. 850 Crores has seven participating units that have commenced production. He said that it is the First Park in North India to have completed all the planned units under the SITP scheme. He said that the park is envisaged to have a total of 10 units, of which 7 have been approved under SITP. The units comprise of 4 for Terry Towel, Bathrobe, Fabric Dyeing and Cut, Stitch and Packing, respectively and 2 other Textile units for Melange Yarn Spinning and Fibre dyeing . All the units provide world-class infrastructure facilities and meet all international environmental and social standards.
He informed that the state of the art textile park has generated direct employment to 1500 persons and indirect employment to 2000 persons with more than 25% female strength. The employment opportunities would increase significantly once other units also become operational.
Panabaaka Lakshmi, Minister of State, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India; Vijay Inder Singla, Member Lok Sabha, Sunaina Tomar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India were also present at the inauguration Ceremony as Guests of Honor.
About Lotus Integrated Texpark Limited
Lotus Integrated Texpark Limited (LITL) is an SPV promoted by Trident Limited to develop a Textile Park for providing infrastructure, R& D, training and workshop facilities for textiles and home furnishing products. The facility is located in Barnala, Punjab adjoining to the Trident Complex. The park has been setup under the guidelines of the Ministry of Textiles (MOT), Govt. of India, under SITP Scheme. The customers include global retail brands across the globe, including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein , JC Penney, Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Kohl's, Sears, Sam's Club , Marks & Spencers and many more.