Power loom clusters in Coimbatore and Tirupur have been facing difficulties with fluctuations in demand, problems in implementation of revised wages for job-working and increase in power costs. Instead power looms are coming up across Sultanpet and Annur blocks because of the additional benefits. Therefore, Coimbatore and Tirupur power loom clusters need to focus on better technology and diversify into varieties of fabrics to get better prices. Small-scale power loom units need to look at upgrading technology. About 10 per cent of the units in Coimbatore and Tirupur have gone in for semi-automation.
While Coimbatore and Tirupur had 1.5 lakh power looms four years ago, it is two lakh looms now. The basic product manufactured here is grey gada fabric. And most of these are basic power looms. There are very few large-scale units in Tamil Nadu. And 75 per cent of the fabric is from basic power looms.
About Rs 102 crores have been disbursed in 2015-16 to power loom units under the in-situ scheme. Most of the beneficiaries are in the south, in the Coimbatore region. Under the in-situ upgradation of power looms, units get Rs 15,000 as subsidy for semi-automation. If the semi-automatic looms are to be upgraded into rapier looms, the subsidy is Rs 25,000. In the case of upgrading a basic power loom into a rapier loom, the subsidy is Rs 40,000.