The Union Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta on 16 March 2017 informed the Lok Sabha that the ministry approved the Solar Energy Scheme for Small Powerloom Units. The minister also announced that the scheme will come into force on 1 April 2017.
The scheme seeks to provide financial assistance in the form of capital subsidy to small powerloom units for installation of Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) plants. These SPV plants will alleviate the problem of power cuts and shortages faced by decentralized powerloom units in the country.
Under the scheme, the plants have two options -(i) On-Grid Solar Power Plant in areas where power cuts and shortages are negligible and power tariff is high. (ii) Off-Grid Solar Power Plant in areas where there is a power shortage and on-grid power is not continuously available.
Following are some of the initiatives of the Union Ministry of Textiles that seek to promote the powerloom sector across the country. It seeks to assist the entrepreneurs in establishing world-class units with modern infrastructure, latest technology and appropriate market linkages.
In 2008-09, the scheme was launched in two clusters, namely, Bhiwandi (Maharashtra) and Erode (Tamil Nadu). In 2013-14, the Modified Comprehensive Powerloom Cluster Development Scheme (CPCDS) was launched in order to extend the original scheme to other parts of the country.
The detailed guidelines of the scheme were issued in October 2013 by the Union Government. Its primary objective is to empower powerloom industry and build their capacity to meet the challenges of the market and global competition in a sustainable and self-reliant manner.
It has five components, including market development programme, establishing common facility centres and organizing awareness programmes, seminars and workshops. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) was set up by the government to oversee the implementation of the scheme.