TN mills look to set up shop in state

Faced with the rising cost of cotton and power and labour issues, the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) plans to set up units in Gujarat or Maharashtra. SIMA is also hopeful that Surat's developed textile industry would benefit them, sources said.

Gujarat is one of the nation's largest cotton producers, accounting for around 40 per cent of the total production. Most of Gujarat's cotton is exported to Tamil Nadu and other south Indian states for spinning; the yarn comes back to Gujarat and Maharashtra for weaving, processing and dyeing.

Tamil Nadu has some 400 large and several hundred smaller spinning units, but is plagued by shortage of power and large transportation costs. At a recent meeting, SIMA members decided to set up mills in Maharashtra or Gujarat. BDO, a private limited firm, made presentations on behalf of the Gujarat government, and a 15-member SIMA team will visit the state soon to examine the possibility of setting up factories.

SIMA secretary general (Tamil Nadu) K Selvaraju said, "The spinning industry in Tamil Nadu faces three major problems: acute power shortage, labour problems, transport of cotton and yarn to upper western India, following which we have decided to shift to Maharashtra or Gujarat."

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