QN-nat-Solapur aims to be India’s uniforms supplier

Solapur (Maharashtra), Jan 2 (IANS) Maharashtra plans to recommend to the Union government a proposal to consider the state’s Solapur as a hub for providing uniforms for the armed forces and police personnel in the country, industry officials said here on Monday.

While the demonetization has affected several sectors in the economy, the closely-knit and largely unorganised garments and uniforms industry of Solapur is attraction attention of the armed forces, according to Nilesh S. Shah, Vice-President of Shri Solapur Readymade Garment Manufacturing Association (SRGMA).

“We are already supplying uniforms to the police forces. Now we are aiming and want to supply uniforms for the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Forces, besides others uniformed services. In fact, some foreign airlines like Travel Service of Czech Republic uses the uniforms we have manufactured,” Shah said.

Sensing a huge business potential, the Solapur industry players will urge Maharashtra Textile Minister Subhash Deshmukh to take up the issue with the Union Government, he added.

In order to showcase its capabilities, the SRGMA has organised the first-ever three-day global exhibition and fashion shows for uniforms from January 5 in Solapur.

Citing statistics, Shah said the uniforms industry including school, corporate wear and government forces is worth over Rs 18,000 crore, of which nearly Rs 10,000 crore is in the organised sector.

Of the rest, Solapur controls nearly Rs 1,100 crores with uniforms churned out from around 1,000 plus manufacturing units in the city, employing over 60,000 skilled workers.

The Indian garments industry is in direct competition with those from Bangladesh and Cambodia, and over 6000 delegates, including foreigners, are expected from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria, Czech Republic and other countries for the three-day exhibition-cum-conference, organised jointly by Maharashtra government and Mafatlal Fabrics, said the SRGMA Secretary Amitkumar Jain.

Around 82 stalls will display the latest trends and designs in different types of uniforms at the three-day event where Bank of Maharashtra will sanction spot loans of upto Rs 10 million to encourage the local garments industry, said the bank’s regional manager Sunil Hanamshet.