UP Khadi likely to sign agreement to supply textile to retail major Raymond

Uttar Pradesh government is likely to sign an agreement with textile major Raymonds to supply indigenous fabric for modern retail.

The UP Khadi Board has already provided fabric samples to Raymonds, which is expected to procure 200,000 metres of UP Khadi annually.

“We will start the supply of khadi to Raymonds as soon as the samples given by the Khadi Board are approved,” UP Khadi principal secretary Navneet Sehgal, who is also the state trade facilitation commissioner, told Business Standard here.

He informed that khadi to be supplied to Raymonds would be manufactured at the UP Khadi production centres situated at different places in the state.

Besides, the UP Khadi Board is looking to supply uniforms to the students of UP government-run primary schools made from fabric blended with cotton and khadi. At present, nearly 18 million students are enrolled in government-run schools and require 36 million pairs of uniforms every year.

There is a proposal to mix 70 per cent and 30 per cent cotton and polykhadi to prepare the school uniforms.

“We have recently held a meeting with the basic education department and urged them to finalise the order by February so that the required uniforms could be supplied by July for the next academic session,” Sehgal added.

The required fabric and uniforms would be prepared at the 6-7 khadi spinning institutions in the state, although it would be an uphill task to undertake such a high-volume order within the next few months.

He said these two initiatives would give a major push to UP Khadi and generate nearly 100,000 fresh job opportunities.

Last year, the Adityanath government had introduced similar khadi uniforms, as a pilot project, in the primary schools of select blocks across four districts  -  Lucknow, Sitapur, Bahraich and Mirzapur.

To showcase UP Khadi, the government is also giving due importance to contemporary designs and packaging and arranging for the training and mentoring of the state khadi artisans and designers. The state has engaged National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Rae Bareli for the training of artisans and dress designers.

Besides, the state is setting up modern UP Khadi retail outlets under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

In February 2018, the state had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with e-commerce giant Amazon to promote ‘UP Khadi’ over its online marketplace, apart from the training and handholding of entrepreneurs.

Now, the government is looking to firm up similar alliances with other e-commerce majors as well, including Alibaba and Flipkart.

In fact, the state had earlier also proposed to set up Khadi Parks. At the UP Investors Summit 2018, the state had signed MoUs to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore with Indian and foreign companies across the entire khadi value chain.

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