Sharma reviews key issues on Day 1 as Textiles Min

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Wednesday took additional charge as Textiles Minister and reviewed ways to help reopen over 1,000 textile units in Tamil Nadu that were closed on court orders for violation of pollution norms.

After a three-hour long meeting with the senior officials of the ministry, Sharma said, the government proposes to constitute a group which will address the issue particularly with regards to the units in Tirupur.

"We have proposed a group so that the work is done in a time-bound manner and the challenges (with regards to court order) there are addressed," he said.

In January this year, the Madras High Court had ordered the closure of dyeing and bleaching units in Tirupur for discharging effluents polluting the Noyyal river.

Besides, Sharma reviewed the functioning of various segments of the industry, including cotton, silk and handlooms.

"We will see that the functioning of the institutions where upgradation is required or need to make it robust. A number of issues, which requires a sense of urgency, were discussed and also the revival of Tirupur. These shall be addressed with a sense of urgency," he said.

Asked about allowing further export of cotton, Sharma said, "We need to look into what is the exportable surplus, accordingly an appropriate view will be taken because we have to keep a closing balance to meet the the industry demands. We are regularly monitoring the situation and a considered view will be taken."

In June this year, the government decided to allow exports of an additional 10 lakh bales of cotton during the current season ending September.

As of now, the closing surplus is 17.5 lakh bales (170 kg each). Last year, the government had decided a closing stock of 50 lakh bales which was further lowered to 27.5 lakh bales in January.

According to the Agriculture Ministry data, the country is estimated to have produced a record 339 lakh bales in 2010-11 crop year against 242 lakh bales in the previous year.

However, the Cotton Advisory Board has lowered the cotton output to 312 lakh bales in April from 329 lakh bales, mainly due to unseasonal rains in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra last December.