Cotton regaining importance in Indian Economy

by Oct 20, 2020Welfare0 comments

It is a matter of great pride that more and more Indians are now preferring to use Indian cotton in general and Khadi products in particular. That explains why despite the Corona-hit hard days of late, on October 2 Gandhi Jayanti, Khadi India’s flagship outlet recorded sales of Rs 1.02 crore. “As many as 1,633 bills were generated throughout the day with an average purchase of Rs 6,258 per bill. Customers belonging to different segments and age-groups queued at the Khadi India outlet since morning,” Khadi and Village Industries Commission stated recently.

As a matter of fact, overall, Khadi and Village Industries’ turnover touched a record Rs 88,887 crore in FY-20, a growth of 31 per cent from Rs 3215.13 crore in 2018-19, to Rs 4211.26 crore in 2019-20. Khadi and Village Industries Commission says that it was its highest-ever turnover ever.

The body, under the MSME ministry, says that the last five years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have witnessed the widest acceptance of “brand Khadi” in India.

While the production of khadi, the most eco-friendly product of sustainable development, has more than doubled in the last five years (since 2015-16), the sales have gone up by nearly three times during the same period, KVIC said.

Similarly, the village industry sector has also seen phenomenal growth, with production and sales going up by nearly 100 per cent in the last five years, it added.

The efforts of the Union Government since mid-2014 to modernize production and customize the products of Khadi has brought windfall gains to the sector. Today the sales have increased by a whopping 389 per cent and increased its employment potential. Khadi Industry stands as a shining example of the Governments #AatmaNirbharBharat.

Khadi production since 2015-16 has grown at the average of 19.45 per cent per annum, which was merely 6.25 per cent during the previous government from 2004 to 2014, KVIC says. Similarly, khadi’s sale grew exponentially at the annual rate of 27.6 per cent, which remained as low as 6.65 per cent from 2004-2014.

“As a result of government’s sustained efforts to revive the Khadi industry and the Prime Minister’s repeated appeals from various platforms including his radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’, to adopt Khadi as a necessity of daily life, the KVIC has been continuously going up the growth trajectory,” KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena is quoted to have said.

Saxena said he was expecting higher results, but several exhibitions planned in the months of February and March were cancelled, and the year-end clearance sale could not take place. However, according to figures, the production of khadi which was pegged at Rs 1,066 crore in 2015-16, shot up to Rs 2,292.44 crore in the year 2019-20, registering an increase of over 115 per cent.

The sale of khadi fabric products increased by 179 per cent from Rs 1,510 crore in 2015 -16 to a whopping Rs 4,211.26 crore in 2019-20. While village industries products worth Rs 33,425 crore were produced in 2015-16; production went up by 96 per cent to Rs 65,393.40 crore in 2019-20.

It also recorded an increase in sale of products by nearly 110 per cent, from Rs 40,385 cr in 2015-16 to Rs 84,675.39 crore in 2019-20, said KVIC.

Popular with gen-next Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2014 planned to make Khadi popular among the youth. Following his plan, KVIC too started marketing its products just like any other private brand. Now, it offers even Indo-Western outfits. Besides apparels, a wide range of products like cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, Ayurvedic medicines, honey, oils, tea, pickles, papads and leather items are offered to attract customers across the country and even from abroad. This has resulted in doubling the production and sale of village industry products in five years.

Parallelly, the Ministry of Textiles is also promoting Indian cotton products in its own way. On October 8, India got its first ever brand, logo for its ‘Kasturi Cotton’. On that day, Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development launched the 1st ever brand and logo for Indian Cotton on 2nd World Cotton Day through Video Conferencing. Now India’s premium Cotton would be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade. The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent “Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness.”

It may be noted that Cotton has always played an important role in Indian economy. As Irani said, ‘Cotton is one of the principal commercial crops of India and it provides livelihood to about 6.00 million cotton farmers. India is the 2nd largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world. India produces about 6.00 Million tons of cotton every year which is about 23% of the world cotton. India produces about 51% of the total organic cotton production of the world, which demonstrates India’s effort towards sustainability”.

According to her, to ensure sustainability, integrity and end-to-end traceability of the organic products, a certification system based on comparable international standards verified through internationally acceptable institutional system is required to be put in place. Accordingly, Ministry of Textiles through APEDA under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has prescribed a certification system for organic Cotton which will be introduced in phases in the entire textile value chain. Similarly, prescribing a certification system for non-organic Cotton has also been taken up with APEDA so that usages of cotton can be suitably augmented.

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has made ever highest Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation of cotton and is hopeful that during the new cotton season, the procurement under MSP will be increased. CCI has opened 430 procurement centres in all cotton-growing states and payments are being made digitally to farmers’ account within 72 hours. Further, leveraging the technology, a mobile app, “Cott-Ally” has been developed by CCI for providing latest news regarding weather condition, Crop situation and best farm practices. A discount of Rs.300/- per candy is being offered by CCI in its regular sale to MSME mills, Khadi and Village Industry, Cooperative sector mills to enhance their competitiveness and efficiency. It was also stated that cotton may be used across all dimension of Technical Textiles.

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