Tuesday, February 3, 2009

'Government to announce third stimulus package soon'

The government may come out with a third stimulus package to boost the country's economy, textile minister Shankarsinh Vaghela said on Tuesday. The package will also include special concessions for the textile industry, he said.

Mr Vaghela said that he has forwarded the recommendations of his ministry to the prime minister s office (PMO) and the PMO is expected to take a final call on the package in the next few days. The third stimulus is in line. It may include certain concessions for cotton exporters (apart from other measures), he said on the sidelines of a function to launch the Fashion Design Promotion Council (FDPC). The government would also soon announce a debt waiver package for the handloom waivers.

The cabinet is presently examining the Rs 2,200 crore debt waiver for the weavers across the country. The union cabinet is likely to pass the proposal in its next few meetings as the PMO as the proposal has found favours of the PMO also, the minister said.

There are about 35 lakh handloom weavers across the country and about 20 lakh are likely to benefit from the debt waiver scheme. It is also likely that the government would extend loans at concessional rates to the handloom weavers.

As part of the scheme we have recommended interest subvention so that loans to the weavers are made available at 7% which is the rate applicable to the agriculture sector, Mr Vaghela said. The government would also make special efforts to promote the fashion industry which is an important part of the textile sector. For this purpose it has supported the creation of FDPC.

The FDPC would be an umbrella organisation and would look towards the promotion of Indian fashion across the globe through fashion shows, exhibitions and setting up of designer showrooms. It would make a tie up with the National Textile Corporation (NTC) to take its activities forward.


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