Speaking at the inauguration of a three-day workshop on “Filtration, Medical Textiles and Absorbent Hygiene Products” organised by the Office of the Textile Commissioner, in association with Edana, M. Senthil Kumar, Southern Region convenor of Development Council for Technical Textiles said here on Monday said that Indian textile products were mainly exported. In a situation of crisis, when entrepreneurs were looking for diversification options, technical textiles had export potential.
It was an import-intensive segment too as most of the raw materials should be imported. The nonwoven fabric availability was limited in the country. In India, technical textiles were classified into 12 broad categories and not all the products were made by the domestic units. This was a sector with potential and the Union Government had granted 2 per cent duty free scrips for these exports. Entrepreneurs should have the mindset to diversify to this sector, he said. G. Bakthavathsalam, chairman of KG Hospitals, said it was important for entrepreneurs to keep pace with innovations. Medical textiles were used in various areas of surgeries. Most of these were imported and hence expensive. Jean-Michel Anspach, technical and education director of Edana said the organisation had expertise in various non-woven segments.
Shashi Singh, Joint Textile Commissioner, said the three products chosen for the three-day event had high market potential. Filtration was a Rs. 550 crore market in the country and this was likely to double in a year. It was a knowledge-based product and most of its production was now in the unorganised sector. Medical textiles was a major cluster in Madurai but most of it was in the woven category. Nonwoven products had huge export potential. Very few units manufactured absorbent hygiene products. It was import intensive and was mainly manufactured by multi-national companies.
Cost of these products would come down if these were made locally. Under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme, 10 per cent capital subsidy was available for specified technical textile machinery. The aim was to encourage new entrepreneurs. The Union Ministry of Textiles had identified South India Textile Research Association as a centre of excellence for medical textiles. The association would inaugurate the centre and launch a web site shortly, she said.