Banks told to recast Rs 35,000 crore debt for textile sector


NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday asked banks to restructure loans worth Rs 35,000 crore for the textile sector, bringing relief to the sector, which is reeling under the impact of volatile yarn prices and slowdown in major markets. Banks have an exposure of Rs 1.56 lakh crore to the sector, which means just under a quarter of the loans will be restructured in one of the biggest loan recast programmes. 

The long-pending demand of the industry will benefit around 2,000 cotton textiles mills, a majority of which are in Tamil Nadu, and the man-made fibre segment in Gujarat, where assembly elections are due later this year. Of the overall package, nearly Rs 27,000 crore is expected to be pocketed by the cotton mills, while Rs 3,600 crore will flow to the man-made segment. Before assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the government had announced a package for weavers, which included softer loan terms. 

The latest lifeline to the largest employer in the manufacturing sector comes at a time when industrial growth and exports have slowed and there is an all-round demand to boost economic activity. A healthier financial position of Indian textile companies also augurs well for their export competitiveness. The package, finalized after a meeting between finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and commerce, industry and textiles minister Anand Sharma, will include a two-year interest moratorium and conversion of eroded working capital into longer-term loans with three to five year term. 

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