Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS)

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    In News 

    • Recently, the Union Minister of Textiles reviewed the Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) at the 5th Inter-Ministerial Steering  Committee  (IMSC) meeting organized by the Ministry of Textiles. 

    Objectives behind the move 

    • The scheme was reviewed to boost the Indian Textile Industry by enabling ease of doing business, bolstering exports & fuelling employment. 

    Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS)

    • Background:
      • The Ministry of Textiles had introduced Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) in 1999 as a credit-linked subsidy scheme intended for modernization and technology up-gradation of the Indian textile industry.
      • It aimed to promote ease of doing business, generating employment and promoting exports
        • Since then, the scheme has been implemented in different versions.
      • The ongoing Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) scheme was approved in 2016 with an outlay of Rs. 17822 crore and implemented through the web-based iTUFS platform. 
    • Significance: 
      • The scheme promotes ease of doing business in the country and achieves the vision of generating employment and promoting exports through “Make in India’’ with “Zero effect and Zero defect” in manufacturing. 
      • It facilitates augmenting of investment, productivity, quality, employment, exports along import substitution in the textile industry.
      •  It also indirectly promotes investment in textile machinery (having benchmarked technology) manufacturing.

    Textile Sector In India 

    • About:
      • India’s textiles sector is one of the oldest industries in the Indian economy, dating back to several centuries.
      • It is the second-largest employer in the country after agriculture.
      • The domestic textiles and apparel industry contributes 5% to India’s GDP, 7% of industry output in value terms, and 12% of the country’s export earnings. 
      • India is the 6th largest exporter of textiles and apparel in the world.
      • India is one of the largest producers of cotton and jute in the world. India is also the 2nd largest producer of silk in the world and 95% of the world’s hand-woven fabric comes from India.
    • Challenges:
      • Competition in the domestic market.
      • The balance between high demand and supply.
      • Quality products are produced by competing countries like China, South Africa.
      • Better Trade terms offered by competing countries.
      • Increased and better technological support and Rand D facility in competing countries.
      • Outdated Technology
      • Lack of Foreign Investment
    • Major Initiatives:
      • Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS).
        • The Ministry of Textiles has approved the continuation of the Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme with a total outlay of 160 crore rupees.
        • The scheme will continue up to March 2026.
      • Silk Samagra: The Government of India through the Central Silk Board has been implementing a Central Sector Scheme “Silk Samagra” an Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry (ISDSI) during the year (2017-20) .
      • Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana: This scheme was launched with the objective of mobilising artisans into self-help groups and societies with the agenda of facilitating bulk production and economies in the procurement of raw materials.
      • Marketing Support and Services Scheme: This scheme provides interventions for domestic marketing events to artisans in the form of financial assistance that aids them in organising and participating in trade fairs and exhibitions across the country and abroad.
      • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme in Textiles Products for Enhancing India’s Manufacturing Capabilities and Enhancing Exports – Atmanirbhar Bharat.
        • The scheme is aimed at providing a big fillip to the man-made fibres and technical textiles segments by promoting industries that invest in the production of 64 select products.
    • National Technical Textile Mission: It aims to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and increase the use of technical textiles in the domestic market.
    • SAMARTH (Scheme For Capacity Building In Textile Sector): To address the shortage of skilled workers, the government launched the Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS) and named it SAMARTH Scheme.
    • The heavy industries capital goods scheme is a pilot scheme designed to support the industry to modernize domestic technologies. 
      • National Capital Goods Policy is a manufacturing sector policy devised by the government of India aimed at increasing the production of capital goods from the 2014-15 value of approximately $31 billion to $101 billion by 2025.
    • PM MITRA: The seven Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) parks will be set up at Greenfield or Brownfield sites located in different states.
      • It is in line with the vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ and to position India strongly on the Global textiles map.

    Way Forward 

    • India should be looking to become a global player in producing textiles machinery, producing at scale, producing with quality and quantity the machinery of choice that the world requires.
    •  We are not averse to imports but we must reduce the import dependency of the textile machinery in India by concerted effort between the textile engineering industry and government together. 
      • Focus on quality will help to capture bigger markets and higher productivity.

    Source: PIB