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Ludhiana apparel makers seek Centre’s help for Common Facility Centre

To promote apparel clusters and enhance exports, the Ludhiana-based apparel industry will seek the Centre’s assistance in setting up a Common Facility Centre (CFC). The facility will house state-of-the-art machinery such as a design studio, quality control facility etc, which member units cannot afford to acquire individually. The proposed CFC would be promoted through a special purpose vehicle.

SS Bedi, Cluster Development Manager, Ludhiana Apparel Cluster says, Ludhiana is one of the prominent hubs for the apparel sector in the country. The city has over 12,000 units manufacturing knitwear, winter wear and shirts but these clusters do not have any CFC to address the issues confronting the apparel industry. The industry is beset with issues such as obsolete technology and quality. To give a boost to this sector we will propose to the Ministry of MSME to grant a CFC. Under the Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme, the Ministry can support the entrepreneurs with a grant from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost for setting up the CFC.

The CFC will be managed by a special purpose vehicle (SPV). About 25 members have been identified for the SPV. After the formation of SPV, detailed diagnostic study report (DSR) will be submitted to the Ministry for the financial assistance to be sanctioned under the cluster development programme.

Most of the manufacturing processes of member units would be completed at the cluster. The cluster would take care of manufacturing using latest machines, designing and product testing. Under the scheme, member units would be given an opportunity to exit their unit if they learn the processes and manage to set up the required machinery.

Ludhiana-based garment manufacturers are already facing a stiff competition from imported garments, especially from Bangladesh where production cost is lower. In such a scenario, the setting up of the CFC will assist them in acquiring cost-effective products and new designs of superior quality.