ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Textile IndustrySubscribe to Textile Industry

Redevelopment of Mumbai s Cotton Textile Mill Land-Opportunity Lost

The decline of textile industry heralds the de-industrialisation of Mumbai, manifested in the exodus of workers from the city's mill areas. The mill-owners in order to earn bigger revenue are resorting to subterfuge in disposing of their land, workers and assets under the pretext of 'modernising' their mills. None of the agencies involved, from central government to state government institutions and the municipal authorities, appears to be unduly concerned about this major change in industrial heartland of Mumbai In order to retain the social heritage of Girangaon, and most importantly, to retain as many jobs as possible, the state government instead of permitting piecemeal, haphazard growth through clandestine plot-by-plot sale of mill land, should actively intervene to bring together lands belonging to different mills in a particular area, so that they can be put to best possible socially relevant use.

Mumbai's Textile Mills and the Land Question

In refusing to give permission to textile mills in Mumbai to sell their land the Maharashtra government gives the impression that it is being sympathetic to the cause of the mill workers, but actually it is pandering to the builders' lobby. The take-no-decision policy of the state government does not mean, however, that changes will not take place, albeit haphazardly and clandestinely. Based on recent developments, some likely scenarios are sketched here.

Mumbai Textile Mills Land-High Cost of Inaction

The continuing indecision about the land belonging to the textile mills in Mumbai has hurt the dry, poor and rich alike. In a city starved of land for housing, commerce and recreation, the bringing of 300 to 400 acres of centrally-located land on the market cannot but have a desirable impact, particularly if a large chunk of the new land were to be earmarked for low income housing at high density.

Bombay Textile Strike

Bombay Textile Strike 1982-83 by H van Wersch; Oxford University Press, THE strike of textile workers in Bombay during 1982-83 has few parallels in the annals of the trade union movement anywhere in the world considering the number of striking workers and the duration of the strike. Yet, as the blurb of H van Wersch's book rightly observes, it has not received as much serious study as one would expect from trade union historians and social scientists. Perhaps the very size and duration of the conflict deterred scholars from launching upon a detailed exploration of it. Ultimately, it was a foreign researcher who undertook the daunting task and it is to his credit that he has done such a thorough job of it.

Sickness in Indian Textile Industry-Causes and Remedies

Four points are worth noting about the nature of sickness in the textile industry: it is neither temporary nor isolated; it largely afflicts the organised sector; within the organised sector, the composite mills are suffering more; and it is more pervasive in the older textile centres like Ahmedabad and Bombay.

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. 

Industry- Lock-Outs with a Purpose

Two inferences seem to follow from the data on industrial disputes published in the January 1984 issue of Indian Labour Journal First, throughout the period 1974 to 1982, the time lost per industrial dispute and the time lost per worker were several times more in the case of lock-outs than in that of strikes. In other words, lockouts by managements were of much longer duration than strikes by workers. One likely explanation may be that owners of out-dated plant and machinery resort to lock-outs either as a step towards closing down their units or as a pressure tactic for extracting more aid and concessions from the government. 

Budget and Textiles

The Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is reported to have warned the textile industry that if it failed to pass on to the consumers the budgetary concessions it would meet the same fate as the tyre industry whose concessions were withdrawn. He has provided "substantial relief 1 to the industry "with a view to making cloth cheaper" and the industry is expected to "benefit through increased demand that lower prices would generate". This sounds quite plausible but it is an oversimplification of a complex market phenomenon. 

Weighed Down by Textile Crisis

DCM, formerly Delhi Cloth and General Mills Company, has suffered a setback m its working during the year ended June 1983., Gross profit has shrunk to Rs 12.75 crore from previous year's Rs 15,06 crore despite increase in turnover from Rs 398 crore to Rs 432 crore. After depreciation and taxation, there is a net loss of Rs 3.17 crore against a net profit of Rs 3.50 crore previously. Depreciation has uniformly been calculated on building and plant and machinery on 'straight line' basis and on other assets on 'written-down value' basis. The resultant excess depreciation provision of previous'years amounting to Rs 16.35 crore has been written back. This hfcs enabled the company to announce an unchanged 15 per cent dividend.

Growth and Technical Change in Indian-Cotton-Mill Industry

After a period of relatively good performance in the fifties and early sixties, the textile industry entered a phase of 'crisis' in the mid-sixties characterised by a deceleration in the growth of output and investment and closure of a number of firms afflicted by 'sickness'.


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