Government considering quality control order for silk: Piyush Goyal

India is proposing to put in place quality standards for silk to check inflow of sub-standard imports, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said Thursday.

Goyal said the government plans to have in place a quality control order (QCO) on silk.

He also announced setting up of a Textile Advisory Group (TAG) on manmade fibre to draw a roadmap for the sector and its value chain along with a memorandum of understanding with the textile industry for traceability, certification and branding of Kasturi cotton, which is the brand of India’s premium cotton.

“We did a silk sangamam to increase the production of silk,” Goyal said at the two-day textile conclave in Varanasi, which is coinciding with Kashi Tamil Sangamam. “Along with that, we are planning to bring a quality control order on it (silk), so that we can stop any substandard quality of silk that comes from outside and we can strengthen our silk from Banaras,” he said while replying to a question on imports of low-quality silk from China.
The government issues QCOs to ensure availability of quality products to consumers by stipulating conformity of the products to Indian standards and improve the quality standards of products manufactured under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. He also said that India achieved $33 billion of textile exports despite the global slowdown.

Certification, branding

To encourage the industry to work on the principle of self-regulation by owning complete responsibility of Traceability, Certification and Branding of Indian cotton, the textiles ministry will also contribute an equal share of Rs 15 crore along with trade and industry bodies over a period of three cotton seasons starting from 2022-23 to 2024-25.

An MoU between the Cotton Corporation of India and the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) will map the entire cotton value chain. It will provide traceability of cotton from the farm level, origin information that the cotton is of Indian origin, complete traceability through blockchain-based software platform, and integrate existing and available trace technologies like geotagging and DNA-based standards to provide end to end tracing solutions.

It seeks to provide registration and transaction certificate using QR code-based technology to validate ‘Kasturi Cotton India’ at each stage. Certification will be based on the test parameters protocol approved by the apex committee, officials said.

On branding, it would enhance international perception and valuation of Indian cotton, position ‘Kasturi Cotton India’ as a reliable quality product, both in the domestic and global markets thereby facilitating premium pricing and provide it a unique brand identity to boost exports opportunities.

Manmade fibre

As per an official, a TAG on manmade fibre is important as India has huge potential for it and the share of MMF in India needs to reach global levels.

“One advisory group for MMF and geotextiles is being made… like the textile advisory group for cotton textiles,” Goyal said.

In 2021, total fibre consumption in India was around 11,241 KT and the share of MMF is around 50%, much lower compared to global MMF share of 75%. Total fibre consumption in India is expected to reach 17,128 KT by 2035 and the share of MMF needs to increase considerably. The TAG for cotton was constituted in May this year. The group on MMF aims to understand the current challenges of the industry, address the bottlenecks, chalk out the future roadmap and ensure holistic development of MMF textiles value chain.

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