Labour shortage is a cause of concern for any industry and when it comes to textile, it surely needs to make some noise. But, it has not been an issue of concern this time. On the contrary, labour shortage is being seen as a blessing due to the financial constraints that the mills have been facing so far.
As per the industry sources, yarn exports have declined acutely and there has been piling up of inventories which have led to a rising pressure upon the mills. The industry is thus forced to cut down its production thereby labour shortage is not seen as a serious thing to look after; as of now.
The number of units which have stopped operations in the past month have not been confirmed so far by the sources. But, if we trust the industry insiders, then around 1 percent of the total number of mills in the state have done so. At an estimated 15-20 per cent cut has been observed in the capacity utilization levels across the industry.
The present hardships are due to the external factors and that is why mills are finding it hard to predict how long would it sustain before the industry gets revived.
In the RoSCTL (Rebate of State and Central Taxes Levies) scheme, they have just reiterated their demand for inclusion of cotton yarn and fabrics.
It has been further stated by the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) Chairman, P Nataraj that in the last 4-5 years the investments in the Tamil Nadu's textile sector had started to slide. The state has around 11 million spindles but the spinning sector lags in modernization. About five years ago, there were investments of around 60 per cent of TUF ( Technology Upgrade Fund) across mills in Tamil Nadu, which has at present fallen to 25 per cent.
There are hopes of respite from State's textile policy guidelines very soon. The entrepreneurs however are shifting to value-added textile products. With huge opportunities, the challenges are also getting bigger in form of expensive labour and shortage of skilled man power.
Against all such odds, the industry is still high on hopes of some revival as the policy with regard to value addition.