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Business News/ News / India/  Centre to set up dedicated test labs in six states for Kasturi Cotton global brand push
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Centre to set up dedicated test labs in six states for Kasturi Cotton global brand push

The labs would be set up in convergence with the Bureau of Indian Standards' (BIS) testing facilities, ensuring alignment with national quality standards.

India aims to compete with global cotton brands such as Supima and Giza, which are known for their exceptional softness, strength and durability. (REUTERS)Premium
India aims to compete with global cotton brands such as Supima and Giza, which are known for their exceptional softness, strength and durability. (REUTERS)

NEW DELHI:New Delhi: The union government is planning to set up dedicated labs for testing high-grade cotton in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka as part of a push to establish the Indian Kasturi cotton as a global brand, two persons aware of the matter said.

The labs would be set up in convergence with the Bureau of Indian Standards' (BIS) testing facilities, ensuring alignment with national quality standards.

India aims to compete with global cotton brands such as Supima and Giza, which are known for their exceptional softness, strength and durability.

 

While India has only recently branded its cotton despite being a major producer with the largest area under the crop, Egypt has successfully positioned its Giza cotton brand internationally with an annual output of a modest one million bales.

The Indian product, Kasturi Cotton Bharat, is produced to stringent standards, with a strict 2% cap on trash content to ensure its premium quality and 100% traceability.

Queries emailed to spokespersons of the textiles ministry, BIS and CEO of the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) remained unanswered till press time.

“As of now, there are no dedicated labs for testing Kasturi cotton and the certification of this premier quality cotton is conducted through a limited number of NABL-accredited labs. Establishing dedicated testing facilities would not only ensure the quality of the product but also enhance its global acceptance," said one of the persons cited above.

The textiles ministry is planning to finalize a testing action plan for all textiles in the coming months, aiming to enhance the overall quality standards that will help in promoting Indian textiles on the global stage.

Until the labs are NABL accredited, the authenticity of the reports may be in doubt, potentially limiting their global acceptance.

 

“To address this, a stakeholder consultation has been conducted to make all testing labs NABL accredited, ensuring that the testing facilities meet international quality standards and boosting the credibility of the reports," the second person said.

The technology upgradation plan is aimed at facilitating real-time testing and ensuring that testing is credibility oriented.

“This approach will not only streamline the testing process but also enhance the reliability and accuracy of the results, further bolstering the global acceptance of Indian textiles, including Kasturi cotton," the second person said.

The testing facilities under the textiles ministry are operated by the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), the Cotton Association of India, and the Textiles Research Association. Most of the labs of CCI and others are not NABL-accredited. Out of four labs of CCI, only one is NABL-accredited.

The government has identified five key focus areas to strengthen India's textiles ecosystem. These are: addressing skill gaps and infrastructure through initiatives such as PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM-MITRA) parks, the production-linked incentive scheme, Technical Textiles Mission, Samarth and the National Handloom Development Programme.

The textiles ministry is also hoping to attract 95,000 crore in investments that will create about 2.25 million new jobs in the next 4-6 years.

The ministry is eyeing 25,000 crore in investments through the production-linked incentive scheme (PLI) and another 70,000 crore through the PM-MITRA parks scheme.

 

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Published: 15 Apr 2024, 08:11 PM IST
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