The Government of India is contemplating on banning the import of second-hand textile machinery that is over five years old, according to a fibre2fashion report. The textile industry in the country, specifically the decentralised sector, prefers import of low cost used machinery from other countries, especially China. Even today, the second hand shuttleless looms are imported in large numbers, thus negating the possibility of any indigenous development of high-tech shuttleless looms, noted the report. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is now considering banning of used machinery under subsidy schemes such as the Textile Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS).
S Chakrabarty, Secretary General, Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (TMMA) said: “We have been urging the Government of India since the last four years to stop the menace of import of second hand machinery. Finally, the Government is considering banning used textile machinery that is more than five years old. Although no order has been issued yet, we are hopeful that the Government will soon do something to stop the import of used machinery".
Elaborating on the rationale for banning used machinery, the official said: “There is a lot of manipulation done during the import of second hand machinery. Earlier, textile manufacturers even imported 15 years old water jet looms and claimed the subsidy, which is a very wrong thing. If second hand machines continue to flow in, the domestic industry will never come up. We cannot compete in the international market in the capital goods sector because of the second hand machines".
"China had stopped importing second hand machines completely since 1995. If China can survive without the second hand machines, why not India? Manufacturers of shuttleless looms in India are suffering due to the second hand machines. So, our first move is to stop the import of second hand machines under TUFS. If you are looking at technology upgradation and bringing in second hand machines, then where is the technology upgradation", Chakrabarty wondered.
Elucidating on other disadvantages of used machines, the official pointed out that the second hand machines consumed more power, more gas and gave less production. What is more, they need more manpower to run it and they run at half the speed of the new machines. “In 2004-05, a study revealed that a textile manufacturer is always better off by importing a new machine. In contrast, 80 percent of the looms imported in India are second hand. So, restricting imports of second hand machines is a very good step that is being considered by the Government. It will not only help the domestic industry to come up but also enable us to increase our capacities. Furthermore, there will be more employment, more value addition and unnecessary imports of machinery as well as its spare parts will be stopped", he added.