CUTS Project to Focus on Textile, Farm Sectors

April 15, 2005, HT Jaipur Live

Panelists agreed that it was important to give a fillip to textile and agriculture sectors not only in the backdrop of their economic significance for the State but also for establishing credibility in the international trade. This conclusion emerged at a workshop held on Thursday, organised by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) here on Thursday where it launched its two year project titled Grassroots Reachout and Networking in India on Trade and Economics (GRANITE).

The project’s aim was to undertake capacity building of civil society organisations (CSOs), government officials etc. for information dissemination also build a network wherein the stakeholders can identify and understand the issues of globalisation and WTO. The project will be implemented in eight States, including Rajasthan.

Addressing a gathering, Principal Secretary Industries T. Srinivasan underlining the need for conducting a study of the WTO issues and rules and disseminate the same among the businessmen concerned. In the era of globalisation, it was necessary to focus on developing to stress on food security.

Elaborating on the WTO policies, CUTS Secretary General Pradeep S. Mehta said that efforts should be made to clear the prevailing myths and misunderstandings of the common men. Referring to privatisation, he said that trade was not the business of the Government, adding that it should only function as a regulator.

Speaking about the sad state of affairs in textiles and farm sectors in the State, he said that farmers in the State have declined by as much as six per cent in the past 20 years. Stating that the textile has fared better as compared to the agriculture sector, he said that the textile industry an ambitious target of posting exporting garment clothing worth Rs.18,000 crore by 2010. This, despite hiccups in the form of lack of technical and skill upgradation, funds, adequate power supply etc.

Economist CS Barla was of the view that ways must be devised for encouraging exports of spices, oilseeds, medicinal plants, which would raise the income levels of the farmers. To this end, focus should be given on quality, attractive pricing, balance in demand and supply. The farmers should be aware about the new techniques in vogue, which could augment exports. For this, a new and revolutionary mechanism was required for the farm sector.

Industries Department, WTO cell Incharge, LC Jain, Rajasthan Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO) CMD Rakesh Hooja agriculture research officer AK Pachori and Revenue Board former Chairman IC Srivastava among others also took part.

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