With an aim to supplement farmers’ income through value-added products, the Maharashtra government is planning to set up nine textile parks in the northern cotton-growing regions of the state.
“There is ample cotton growing in northern Maharashtra and there is no value addition. We are planning to set up nine textile parks there,” said Subhash Rajaram Desai, industries minister of Maharashtra.
He was speaking at the Progressive Maharashtra Summit organised by industry body Ficci here.
Citing the example of the textile park at Amravati, which has over 30 units operational, he added “This is helping many small and medium industries to flourish. In a similar way we can support farming and industry.”
He explained that value addition — from produce to fibre to fabric to fashion — will help farmers get a good price for cotton.
Referring to the Rs 34,000-crore loan waiver for farmers announced by the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, he said while the move is one way to support debt-ridden cultivators; it is not the only solution.
“We gave loan waiver in 2008, and the necessity was felt again in 2017. This is not the final answer. The solution is to make farming more viable and sustainable.”
“Farming is lacking technology and food processing not implemented to desired level. The government is working on a new policy in food processing,” he added.
On the ease of doing business, he said the government has taken many initiatives on this front like reducing the number of permissions required to set up industries in the state.
“We have also set up a special platform called ‘Maitri’ that brings 18 different departments on one platform. Anybody who wants to invest in the state can make a single presentation to all department heads and expect to get clearances in this platform,” Desai elaborated.
Another useful thing, the minister said, would be to link the Right to Services Act with the permission procedure. “Then it would not be a favour but duty of officials. Every official would be duty bound to pursue this goal.”