The ministries of textiles and power have joined hands for SAATHI (Sustainable & Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries). Under the initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) will procure energy efficient powerlooms, motors and rapier kits and give them to small and medium powerloom units at no upfront cost.

“The use of these efficient equipments would result in energy saving and cost saving to the unit owner and he would repay in installments to EESL over a period of four to five years. This is the aggregation, bulk procurement and financing model that EESL has successfully deployed in several sectors like LED bulbs, smart meters and electric vehicles. The unit owner neither has to allocate any upfront capital cost to procure these equipments nor does it have to allocate additional expenditure for repayment as the repayments to EESL are made from the savings that accrue as a result of higher efficiency equipments and cost savings. The aggregation of demand and bulk procurement will also lead to reduction in capital cost, benefits of which will be passed on to the powerloom units so that their repayment amount and period would reduce,” the press release stated.

The SAATHI initiative of the government will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis. To kick start the implementation, cluster wise demonstration projects and workshops will be organised in key clusters such as Erode, Surat, Ichalkaranji, etc.

The powerloom sector in India is predominantly an unorganised sector and has a large number of micro and small units which produce 57 per cent of the total cloth in the country. there are 24.86 lakh powerloom units in this country, most of whom use obsolete technology. With a view to upgrade the technology, the Government of India has been implementing the INSITU upgradation of plain powerlooms as part of Power Tex India under which plain powerlooms are attached with process control equipment leading to higher productivity, better quality and more than 50 per cent additional value realisation. So far, 1.70 lakh plain powerlooms have been upgraded under the scheme, with a total subsidy of Rs 186 crores.