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Automation may hit job creation plan in textile sector, says report

Even as the sector's market size is expected to grow by 40 per cent to $142 billion in the next five years, the textile and apparel industry is likely to create only 29 lakh jobs much lesser than the government's target of one crore new jobs, says a report. “As the textile and apparel industry is moving towards automation, the industry is unlikely to create more jobs visa vis the growth in the industry. The expected job creation in the domestic textile and apparel sector would be 29 lakh in the next five years," the report says.

The report goes on to add that technological advancement leading to increased efficiency may reduce job opportunities. From a high of 40 workers being employed by the industry, it has now declined to 25 workers per Rs one crore. Spinning, autoconers and auto-splicers divisions have replaced a job of 20 workers by 2 workers. The inter-fiber shift moving from relatively labour intensive spun yarn to synthetic filament segment also leading to lower job creation, the report continues.

Further, the report points out that absence of FTAs with the EU, Australia and Canada, almost 55 lakh jobs are lost due added exports that would have been generated if the FTAs were signed. It has been reported that the study in mention was done to bring out the employment potential of the textile sector, especially in rural India by developing non-migratory models of manufacturing like 'hub & spoke' model being popularised in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Both the Central and State governments need to actively promote hub and spoke model in the sector to increase supply of suitable jobs to rural women and youth, the report suggests. The report says textile and apparel exports may post a CAGR of 9 per cent to touch $62 billion by 2021 from $40 billion in 2016. The domestic market is also expected to register CAGR of 5.2 per cent to $80 billion by 2021 from $62 billion in 2016.