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Cloth for the Rich

Even the most knowledgeable men in the textile industry and trade have often wondered at the emerging textile situation and have been hard put to offer a convincing explanation for the declining fortunes of an industry catering to the basic need of a fast-growing population in a developing economy with a completely sheltered market. This is mainly because the textile scene has generally presented a curious mixture of many diverse, odd elements.

Textile Industry on Wrong Course

The cotton mill industry which had been hopefully looking forward to a measure of relief in the wake of a pickup in cloth offtake has had to contend -with the formidable problem of acute shortage of cotton and the consequent upsurge in prices — for the time being, pushing the basic issues to the background.

Cotton-Many Santa Clauses

Because of the long drawn-out Bombay textile strike, cotton prices continued to decline from the onset of the new season to December-end. In January they remained steady. And in February the cotton market made an about-turn.

Cotton-Many-Sided Pressures

The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) had prepared the cotton balance-sheet for the 1981-82 season in October 1981. It had estimated that total availability of cotton in the season would be 9 lakh bales less than that in 1980-81 and total offtake almost the same, so that stocks at the end of the season would be lower.

Textile Industry, Cotton Prices and Datta Samant

The textile labour agitation in Bombay coincides with the intense lobbying that has been going on in New Delhi over the fixation of raw cotton prices for Maharashtra for tho 1981-82 cotton year. The delay in announcing these prieos weeks after purchasing centres have opened all over the state is an index of the complex forces at work fust now.

Textile Workers and Datta Samant

Cotton textiles, the biggest industry in Bombay employing the largest 11 number of workers, has been churning for the last two months. The first intimation of the turmoil came when workers went on a warning strike on September 27 under the leadership of four unions. The strike was in support of the demand for 12.33 per cent bonus payment by mills making losses and 20 per cent and more by the others, according to their profits. The unions also gave a warning of an indefinite strike in support of the general demands of textile workers which have been pending for several years.

Sick Cotton Textile Mills—Is Government Take-Over a Solution?

Of the 564 cotton textile mills in India today, 40 are closed and 13 of these are fit to be scrapped; 200 other mills are on the brink of financial disaster. Why is the cotton textile industry, which is one of the oldest established industries in the country, in such straits? Is it inefficient and dishonest management or cost and financial factors outside the control of managements that are responsible for the condition of the mills? A correspondent, a close student of the textile industry, here attempts to answer these questions.
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