By admin       2017-12-18

Dec 18, 2017 - Amravati: Textile major Raymonds commissioned the first phase of its greenfield project in the cotton growing district of Amravati. However, the company will be currently manufacturing only linen, a high-end fabric made from flax, a crop grown in France and Belgium. Plans for the second phase, which may use locally grown cotton, would be announced in due course. The commercial operations of the unit are slated to begin by April 2018. The government has been encouraging textile units in the district to provide a boost to local cotton growers. Raymonds was being dubbed as an anchor investor, which would pull more units to the district. The unit set up at MIDC's Nandgaon Peth industrial estate here, is also the first industry in the state to start operations after a MoU was signed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make-in-India event, last year. The MoU was signed in February last year, and the unit has been set up in a record time in December. This would be Raymond's third unit in Central India, and the second in Vidarbha. The company has a denim plant at Yavatmal, and a woollen fabric unit in Chhindwara district, on the Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra border. The plant has been set up with an investment Rs220 crore. It would be providing direct employment to 500 persons, which gives it the status of a mega project as per the state's industrial norms. The unit was inaugurated in the presence of Raymond Group chairman, Gautam Hari Singhania, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari. Fadnavis also attended the stone laying ceremony of Mahi Terri Cot, which will be setting up a unit to make towels, on Sunday. He said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea is to have industries to process agriculture produce. With Amravati being a cotton growing area, the stress was to have an integrated chain from the crop to garment itself." However, Raymonds will not be depending on local cotton in its first phase at least. This is Raymond's first plant to make linen directly out of fibre. The fibre is, however, made from flax, which India does not grow in the desired quality or quantity. The company officials did not reveal any fixed plans for the second phase of the unit, which is supposed to use cotton. Earlier, there was a plan to have a denim manufacturing unit in the second phase, for which cotton is required. But now it would not be denim, and further plans are still to be firmed up, said SK Gupta, company's president (corporate), told TOI without divulging further details. "The company already has a denim facility at Yavatmal, which has been expanded by 10 million meters over last two years with Rs150 crore investment. The country already has an excessive capacity for denim at 1.8 billion meters a year. This leaves little space for expansion," said Gupta. At Yavatmal, which is also a cotton growing area, Raymonds purchases 2,200 tonnes of cotton, 98% procured locally, he said. Fadnavis asked the company to come up with the second phase at the earliest. Singhania said the company will also have a Singhania School, with capacity to take in 3,500 students, including outsiders. The company also inaugurated a 200-unit residential complex, which will also be expanded later. Gadkari said he supported industries not because he favoured industrialists, but because they could create jobs. Being a union leader himself, he has been instrumental in reviving units.

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