Kolkata: Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said the Centre is making it mandatory that jute mills would get the entire payment for government orders only after jute farmers and labourers are paid fully.

"Jute industry has a ready order worth Rs 5,000-5,500 crore every year (in terms of sacking). The government gives such a huge order so that the jute industry stays alive. The huge money is given to the jute industry in terms of order so that the farmers and labourers can get benefit out of it," she said.

Farmers and labourers often complain that they do not get the benefit which they deserve, she said at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here.

"The jute industry used to get payments against the order regularly. Why are the farmers and labourers complaining that? Now, we are making it mandatory, that if you do not pay farmers or labourers or abdicate the responsibility, we will not give you the order," Irani said.

"The Centre has made a special arrangement and another decision will come soon so that the industry would get the entire payment against the order from the government only after farmers and labourers get fully paid," she said.

The industry assured that they would take care of the rights of the jute farmers and labourers, she added.

The Centre is focusing on how to transform small-size firms into mid-size entities, Irani said.

"China prospers because its small firms became mid-size companies... small and medium enterprises account for 80 per cent of the textile industry and a lot of craft-based industry goes unaccounted.

"For the growth to happen exponentially, we are pushing towards ensuring that the small-size firms become mid-size entities. It needs infrastructure push," she said.

Irani stressed upon innovation in terms of design that the textile industry needs.

According to her, India looks at the trade war between China and the US as an opportunity and not as a challenge.

She said India would be benefited from the trade war not only through policy intervention but also through industry practices.

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