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Jul 19, 2009

Revival efforts start paying off, NTC Mills on hiring mode ..


Not long ago, a bleak future starred at a group of National textile corporation operated spinning mills in the texcity Coimbatore.The sick mills encountered problems like surplus workforce, vintage machinery and lower output. Now, they are on a come back trail thanks to the modernisation programme.What is more, the four NTC run mills are on a hiring mode. The mills revived by the textiles ministry through a modernisation scheme at a cost of Rs 64.35 crore in the last twelve months, are looking to hire an additonal 1000 workers to increase production.

The mills- Cambodia Mills, Coimbatore Murugan Mills, Pankaja Mills and Rangavilas Ginning, Spinning & Weaving Mills are seeing the benefits of the modernisation scheme.While the Cambodia Mills weaving unit was upgraded with imported machinery, the other three mills had also equipped themselves with latest technology. Apart from importing machines from China, NTC also procured latest machines from LMW, the Indian textile machinery major.While the formal inauguration of the mills ( after modernisation) is scheduled to take place later this month, they have already kick started production. "After the modernisation, the four mills are working at 80% capacity and they have also reached breakeven in the last two months," NTC southern region chief GM (technical) M M Chockalingam told ET.

"We need additional 1000 workers to reach 95% utilisation level ," he added. Currently there are 2337 permanent workers and around 2000 causal workers employed in the four mills."We have already received more than 1000 applications for the vacant spots and it is in the process of scrutiny. We will soon call them for interview and hire them on our rolls as casual workers. Later, we will shift them to fill the permanent vacancies and pay occupational salary," said a senior executive in NTC.Currently, NTC pays around Rs 125 to Rs 135 per day for casual workers and up to Rs 6000 per month for permanent employees.Apart from aiming to make profits, the four mills are also ready to compete with private mills by producing value added products. Following upgradation of machines, the spindles speed has gone up to 21000 RPM from the earlier 13000 RPM. "We are expecting a increase in production from earlier 60 to 65 gram per spindle to up to 100 grams per spindle," said Mr Chockalingam.

He said, among the four, Coimbatore Murugan Mills and Rangavilas Mills are the top performers and they are specialised in producing round form hand yarn, which would be useful for handlooms. "These two mills would mainly produce cotton yarn and new value-added products like slub yarn, high twist yarn and cotton 2/1 gassed mercerized yarn," he added.The other two mills would concentrate on 100% polyester yarn and also polyester mixed with cotton and viscose yarns respectively. The mills are also planning to produce hosiery yarn as a value-added product. Mr Chockalingam said the yarn from the four mills would go to all the important markets in India apart from supplying to local markets in Tirupur, Somanur and Erode.

In the last 30 to 35 years, ten mills had come under the purview of NTC in the texcity. When four mills were shutdown (two sold and two under litigation), surplus workers were relieved through VRS scheme or accommodated in other running mills. Two more mills namely, Sharadha Mills and Coimbatore Spinning & Weaving Mills are to be operated under JV and the remaining four revived through modernization scheme.Figures available from NTC show that nearly 2352 people opted for VRS scheme following closure of mills or on medical grounds. Also more than 2000 people had retired from these mills and NTC hasn’t filled up the vacancy following ban on recruitment.

Recently as one of the highlights in the Textile Ministry Agenda for 100 days, Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran said, the seven modernised mills under NTC in the country would be made operational. Among the seven mills, four are in Coimbatore.

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