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Modified TUFS to continue through 11th plan period
 Kolkata: The Union cabinet has decided to continue the Technology Up gradation  Fund Scheme (TUFS) for the entire 11th Plan period (2007-12) with certain modifications. In the modified scheme, special emphasis has been given on segments like garments and technical textiles and their market potential with value addition and employment generation.
  In modified form, TUFS provides 5% interest reimbursement, 15% margin money subsidy for SSI sector in place of 5% interest reimbursement on investment in TUF-compatible specified machinery with a capital ceiling of Rs 2 crore from Rs 1 crore. In other words, a minimum of 15% equity contribution from the beneficiaries would be ensured.
  The scheme also provides 10% capital subsidy in addition to 5% interest reimbursement for machinery required for manufacturing garments and technical textiles in line with investment in specified processing machinery. However, interest/capital subsidy/margin money subsidy is allowed on the basic value of the machinery and excludes the tax component for the purpose of valuation. Under the scheme investors would not be entitled to reimbursement for other investments like land, factory building, 
preoperative expenses and margin money for working capital except meant for apparel sector with existing 50% cap.
   It may be mentioned that recently the West Bengal government by a notification has announced an entrepreneur friendly investment subsidy scheme which includes various subsidies including state capital investment subsidy, interest subsidy on electricity charges and waiver on electricity duty along with other various benefits.
   TUFS launched by the Centre has a wider spectrum-two mini missions each for raw jute and industry sector-mini mission I (Rs 20.40 crore), II (Rs 19.80 crore) and IV (Rs 263 crore) Out of this total outlay, Union ministry of agriculture is expected to contribute Rs 40.18 crore for missions I&II followed by ministry of textile Rs 155 crore for mission III and concerned state governments Rs 263 crore for mission IV. The private entrepreneurs are also required to put in Rs 705 crore with the assistance and encouragement provided in JTM scheme.
   As jute belongs to textile family as a whole, the domestic jute industry and trade hope that jute would also be included in the modified TUF scheme as before for the current plan period. Like cotton textile, jute has also potential for producing value-added diversified items like foodgrade hydrocarbon jute bags, jute geotextiles, blended jute yarns and fabrics.
   The jute industry also proposes to explore possibilities of production of technical textiles. This apart, various small and medium sectors in the country are also engaged in manufacturing sectors in the country are also engaged in manufacturing a wide range of diversified jute products like composites, made ups, home upholstery and decorative fabrics. Unfortunately, the modernisation process so far for both raw jute and industry sector is far from satisfactory.
   This is partly because of non-availability of efficient and high-speed spinning machinery both from indigenous and foreign sources and partly due to millowners' age-old apathy to modernise and their short-term outlook. Though some types of new technology drawing and spinning machinery are being made by a few enthusiastic Indian machinery manufacturer like Lagan Jute Machinery but technology and upgrading required are still far off. For this a centralised attempt at national level in R&D activities by involving scientist, technologists and designers working in modern textile sector and jute research institutes is required. 
 Source: The Economic Times, Kolkata

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